Epidemiological characteristics of lacunar infarcts in a population.
This study evaluated the characteristics and natural history of patients with lacunar (small, deep) cerebral infarcts in a defined population for comparison of these characteristics to those in patients with nonlacunar infarcts.
This is a population-based study in Rochester, Minnesota, from 1960 to 1984, that used the medical record-linkage system to identify and characterize patients with cerebral infarction.
The age- and sex-adjusted average annual incidence rate of lacunar cerebral infarction was 13.4/100,000 persons, accounting for 12% of all first cerebral infarcts. Temporal trends in incidence rates, stroke recurrence rates, prevalence of diabetes mellitus, and causes of death (given survival for 30 days) for cases of lacunar infarction were not significantly different from those for cases of nonlacunar infarction. Hypertension was found in 81% of patients who had a lacunar infarct and in 70% of patients who had a nonlacunar infarct (p = 0.05). A potential cardiac source of embolism was found in 12% of patients who had a lacunar infarct and in 28% of patients who had a nonlacunar infarct (p = 0.002). Survival was significantly better after a lacunar infarct than after a nonlacunar infarct.
Small, deep cerebral infarcts had many of the epidemiological characteristics of other cerebral infarcts but there was a slightly higher frequency of hypertension, significantly lower frequency of a cardiac embolic source, and significantly better survival in patients with lacunar infarction than in those with nonlacunar infarction.
- Copyright © 1991 by American Heart Association