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Accelerated development of cerebral small vessel disease in young stroke patients.

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Arntz, Renate M 
van den Broek, Steffen MA 
van Uden, Inge WM 
Ghafoorian, Mohsen 
Platel, Bram 


OBJECTIVE: To study the long-term prevalence of small vessel disease after young stroke and to compare this to healthy controls. METHODS: This prospective cohort study comprises 337 patients with an ischemic stroke or TIA, aged 18-50 years, without a history of TIA or stroke. In addition, 90 age- and sex-matched controls were included. At follow-up, lacunes, microbleeds, and white matter hyperintensity (WMH) volume were assessed using MRI. To investigate the relation between risk factors and small vessel disease, logistic and linear regression were used. RESULTS: After mean follow-up of 9.9 (SD 8.1) years, 337 patients were included (227 with an ischemic stroke and 110 with a TIA). Mean age of patients was 49.8 years (SD 10.3) and 45.4% were men; for controls, mean age was 49.4 years (SD 11.9) and 45.6% were men. Compared with controls, patients more often had at least 1 lacune (24.0% vs 4.5%, p < 0.0001). In addition, they had a higher WMH volume (median 1.5 mL [interquartile range (IQR) 0.5-3.7] vs 0.4 mL [IQR 0.0-1.0], p < 0.001). Compared with controls, patients had the same volume WMHs on average 10-20 years earlier. In the patient group, age at stroke (β = 0.03, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.02-0.04) hypertension (β = 0.22, 95% CI 0.04-0.39), and smoking (β = 0.18, 95% CI 0.01-0.34) at baseline were associated with WMH volume. CONCLUSIONS: Patients with a young stroke have a higher burden of small vessel disease than controls adjusted for confounders. Cerebral aging seems accelerated by 10-20 years in these patients, which may suggest an increased vulnerability to vascular risk factors.



Adolescent, Adult, Brain, Brain Ischemia, Cerebral Small Vessel Diseases, Disease Progression, Female, Follow-Up Studies, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Prevalence, Prospective Studies, Risk Factors, Stroke, White Matter, Young Adult

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Ovid Technologies (Wolters Kluwer Health)
British Heart Foundation (FS/15/61/31626)