Callosal atrophy in patients with lacunar infarction and extensive leukoaraiosis. An indicator of cognitive impairment.
It is unclear why only some patients with lacunar infarction and radiological evidence of diffuse white matter abnormalities have dementia. The purpose of this study is to investigate the value of callosal atrophy as an indicator of cognitive impairment.
We used magnetic resonance imaging to evaluate 11 right-handed male patients with lacunar infarction and extensive white matter hypodensities on computed tomography (8 with dementia and 3 without dementia). The midsagittal corpus callosum area on T1-weighted images was compared with the IQ determined by the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale. The relation between these parameters and cerebral oxygen metabolism measured with positron emission tomography was also evaluated in the 8 patients with dementia.
All patients showed diffuse high-intensity areas in the bilateral hemispheric white matter on T2-weighted images. Compared with 19 age- and sex-matched right-handed normal control subjects, the patients had a significantly smaller callosal area. The severity of callosal atrophy, which varied from mild to severe, was significantly related to the total IQ. In the 8 demented patients, the total callosal area was significantly correlated with the mean level of oxygen metabolism in the cerebral white matter.
In patients with lacunar infarction and diffuse white matter abnormalities, the presence of callosal atrophy may indicate cognitive impairment. Callosal atrophy may reflect the severity and extent of white matter damage associated with a decrease in oxygen metabolism, which may determine the severity of intellectual decline.
- Copyright © 1994 by American Heart Association