03 Jan 20. Featured Paper
Small vessel disease is associated with altered cerebrovascular pulsatility but not resting cerebral blood flow.
We aimed to investigate the role of cerebral blood flow (CBF) & intracranial pulsatility in SVD.
We scanned 60 patients with minor ischemic stroke, representing a range of white matter hyperintensities (WMH).
We rated WMH & perivascular spaces (PVS) using semi-quantitative scales & measured WMH volume.
We measured flow & pulsatility in the main cerebral vessels & cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) using phase-contrast MRI.
We investigated the association between flow, pulsatility & SVD features.
In 56/60 patients (40 male, 67.8±8.3 years) with complete data, median WMH volume was 10.7 mL (range 1.4–75.0 mL), representing median 0.77% (0.11–5.17%) of intracranial volume.
Greater pulsatility index (PI) in venous sinuses was associated with larger WMH volume (e.g. superior sagittal sinus, β = 1.29, ;P < 0.01) & more basal ganglia PVS (e.g. odds ratio = 1.38, 95% confidence interval 1.06, 1.79, per 0.1 increase in superior sagittal sinus PI) independently of age, sex & blood pressure.
CSF pulsatility & CBF were not associated with SVD features.
Our results support a close association of SVD features with increased intracranial pulsatility rather than with low global CBF, & provide potential targets for mechanistic research, treatment & prevention of SVD.
Cerebral blood flow
Cerebral small vessel disease
White matter hyperintensities