Cerebellar Cortical Infarct Cavities
Correlation With Risk Factors and MRI Markers of Cerebrovascular Disease
Background and Purpose—Small cerebellar infarct cavities have been recently found on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to preferentially involve the cerebellar cortex, but epidemiological studies are lacking. We aimed to determine the prevalence and risk factor profiles of cerebellar cortical infarct cavities (≤1.5 cm) as well as their association with MRI markers of cerebrovascular disease and functioning.
Methods—We analyzed the 1.5 Tesla MRI of 636 patients (mean age, 62±9 years; 81% men) from the Second Manifestations of Arterial Disease-Memory, Depression and Aging (SMART-Medea) study. Logistic regression analyses were performed to estimate the associations of age, sex, vascular risk factors, MRI markers of cerebrovascular disease, and functioning with cerebellar cortical cavities, adjusted for age and sex.
Results—Cerebellar cortical infarct cavities occurred on MRI in 10% of patients and were significantly associated with age, intima-media thickness (odds ratio [OR], 2.0; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.1–3.7), high levels of homocysteinemia (OR, 1.8; 95% CI, 1.0–3.3), cortical infarcts (OR, 2.9; 95% CI, 1.6–5.4), gray matter lacunes of presumed vascular origin (OR, 3.0; 95% CI, 1.6–5.8), brain stem infarcts (OR, 5.1; 95% CI, 1.9–13.6), and decreased brain parenchymal fraction (OR, 0.84; 95% CI, 0.74–0.94), but not with white matter hyperintensities (OR, 1.2; 95% CI, 0.8–1.8) or white matter lacunes of presumed vascular origin (OR, 1.1; 95% CI, 0.5–2.5). They were also associated with worse physical functioning (OR, −2.6; 95% CI, −5.7 to −0.9) but not with mental functioning.
Conclusions—Cerebellar cortical infarct cavities are far more common than previously assumed based on symptomatic case series and are associated with markers of atherothromboembolic cerebrovascular disease.
- Received May 17, 2015.
- Revision received August 2, 2015.
- Accepted August 18, 2015.
- © 2015 American Heart Association, Inc.