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Review
. 2017 Apr;173(4):201-210.
doi: 10.1016/j.neurol.2017.03.005. Epub 2017 Apr 6.

Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Cerebral Small Vessel Disease

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Review

Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Cerebral Small Vessel Disease

A L Lyoubi-Idrissi et al. Rev Neurol (Paris). .

Abstract

Cerebral small vessel disease (SVD) is frequent in the elderly, and accounts for a wide spectrum of clinical and radiological manifestations. This report summarizes the most important findings obtained using diffusion MRI (DWI) in SVD. With DWI and apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) maps, recent ischemic lesions can easily be detected after acute stroke in SVD, while even multiple simultaneous lesions may be observed. Microstructural changes are frequent in SVD, with increases in diffusivity and decreases in anisotropy being the most reliable findings observed, mainly in white matter. These tissue changes are associated with clinical severity and especially executive dysfunction. They can also precede the usual MRI markers of SVD, such as white matter hyperintensities, microbleeds and lacunes. Thus, DWI may reveal surrogate markers of SVD progression and offer a better understanding of their underlying mechanisms.

Keywords: Diffusion tensor imaging; Diffusion-weighted imaging; Small vessel disease.

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