Improving detection of cerebral small vessel disease aetiology in patients with isolated lobar intracerebral haemorrhage

Stroke Vasc Neurol. 2022 Aug 18;svn-2022-001653. doi: 10.1136/svn-2022-001653. Online ahead of print.


Background and purpose: We evaluate whether non-haemorrhagic imaging markers (NHIM) (white matter hyperintensity patterns, lacunes and enlarged perivascular spaces (EPVS)) can discriminate cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA) from hypertensive cerebral small vessel disease (HTN-cSVD) among patients with isolated lobar intracerebral haemorrhage (isolated-LICH).

Methods: In patients with isolated-LICH, four cSVD aetiologic groups were created by incorporating the presence/distribution of NHIM: HTN-cSVD pattern, CAA pattern, mixed NHIM and no NHIM. CAA pattern consisted of patients with any combination of severe centrum semiovale EPVS, lobar lacunes or multiple subcortical spots pattern. HTN-cSVD pattern consisted of any HTN-cSVD markers: severe basal ganglia PVS, deep lacunes or peribasal ganglia white matter hyperintensity pattern. Mixed NHIM consisted of at least one imaging marker from either pattern. Our hypothesis was that patients with HTN-cSVD pattern/mixed NHIM would have a higher frequency of left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH), which is associated with HTN-cSVD.

Results: In 261 patients with isolated-LICH, CAA pattern was diagnosed in 93 patients, HTN-cSVD pattern in 53 patients, mixed NHIM in 19 patients and no NHIM in 96 patients. The frequency of LVH was similar among those with HTN-cSVD pattern and mixed NHIM (50% vs 39%, p=0.418) but was more frequent in HTN-cSVD pattern compared with CAA pattern (50% vs 20%, p<0.001). In a regression model, HTN-cSVD pattern (OR: 7.38; 95% CI 2.84 to 19.20) and mixed NHIM (OR: 4.45; 95% CI 1.25 to 15.90) were found to be independently associated with LVH.

Conclusion: Among patients with isolated-LICH, NHIM may help differentiate HTN-cSVD from CAA, using LVH as a marker for HTN-cSVD.

Keywords: Magnetic Resonance Imaging; Stroke; cerebrovascular disorders; hemorrhage.