Background and Purpose - We aimed to generate rigorous graphical and statistical reference data based on volumetric measurements for assessing the relative severity of white matter hyperintensities (WMHs) in patients with stroke.
Methods - We prospectively mapped WMHs from 2699 patients with first-ever ischemic stroke (mean age=66.8±13.0 years) enrolled consecutively from 11 nationwide stroke centers, from patient (fluid-attenuated-inversion-recovery) MRIs onto a standard brain template set. Using multivariable analyses, we assessed the impact of major (age/hypertension) and minor risk factors on WMH variability.
Results - We have produced a large reference data library showing the location and quantity of WMHs as topographical frequency-volume maps. This easy-to-use graphical reference data set allows the quantitative estimation of the severity of WMH as a percentile rank score. For all patients (median age=69 years), multivariable analysis showed that age, hypertension, atrial fibrillation, and left ventricular hypertrophy were independently associated with increasing WMH (0- 9.4%, median=0.6%, of the measured brain volume). For younger (=69) hypertensives (n=819), age and left ventricular hypertrophy were positively associated with WMH. For older (=70) hypertensives (n=944), age and cholesterol had positive relationships with WMH, whereas diabetes mellitus, hyperlipidemia, and atrial fibrillation had negative relationships with WMH. For younger nonhypertensives (n=578), age and diabetes mellitus were positively related to WMH. For older nonhypertensives (n=328), only age was positively associated with WMH.
Conclusions - We have generated a novel graphical WMH grading (Kim statistical WMH scoring) system, correlated to risk factors and adjusted for age/hypertension. Further studies are required to confirm whether the combined data set allows grading of WMH burden in individual patients and a tailored patient-specific interpretation in ischemic stroke-related clinical practice.
- Cerebral infarction
- Magnetic resonance imaging
- Topographic brain mapping
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Advanced and Specialised Nursing