Edinburgh Imaging

13 May 21. Featured Paper

ESO Guideline on covert cerebral small vessel disease.

Link to paper on European Stroke Journal



Joanna M Wardlaw, Stephanie Debette, Hanna Jokinen, Frank-Erik De Leeuw, Leonardo Pantoni, Hugues Chabriat, Julie Staals, Fergus Doubal, Salvatore Rudilosso, Sebastian Eppinger, Sabrina Schilling, Raffaele Ornello, Christian Enzinger, Charlotte Cordonnier, Martin Taylor-Rowan, Arne G Lindgren



‘Covert’ cerebral small vessel disease (ccSVD) is common on neuroimaging in persons without overt neurological manifestations, & increases the risk of future stroke, cognitive impairment, dependency, & death.

These European Stroke Organisation (ESO) guidelines provide evidence-based recommendations to assist with clinical decisions about management of ccSVD, specifically white matter hyperintensities & lacunes, to prevent adverse clinical outcomes.

The guidelines were developed according to ESO standard operating procedures & Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development, & Evaluation (GRADE) methodology.

We prioritised the clinical outcomes of stroke, cognitive decline or dementia, dependency, death, mobility & mood disorders, & interventions of blood pressure lowering, antiplatelet drugs, lipid lowering, lifestyle modifications, glucose lowering & conventional treatments for dementia.

We systematically reviewed the literature, assessed the evidence, formulated evidence-based recommendations where feasible, & expert consensus statements.

We found little direct evidence, mostly of low quality.

We recommend patients with ccSVD & hypertension to have their blood pressure well controlled; lower blood pressure targets may reduce ccSVD progression.

We do not recommend antiplatelet drugs such as aspirin in ccSVD.

We found little evidence on lipid lowering in ccSVD.

Smoking cessation is a health priority.

We recommend regular exercise which may benefit cognition, & a healthy diet, good sleep habits, avoiding obesity & stress for general health reasons.

In ccSVD, we found no evidence for glucose control in the absence of diabetes or for conventional Alzheimer dementia treatments.

Randomised controlled trials with clinical endpoints are a priority for ccSVD.





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Featured paper: ESO Guideline on covert cerebral small vessel disease

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