Differential Effect of White-Matter Lesions and Covert Brain Infarcts on the Risk of Ischemic Stroke and Intracerebral Hemorrhage
Background and Purpose—We examined the association of white-matter hyperintensity (WMH) volume and covert brain infarcts, which are the 2 major magnetic resonance imaging markers of covert cerebrovascular disease in older adults, with long-term risk of ischemic stroke and intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) in the general population.
Methods—Participants were 1731 individuals aged ≥65 years from the Three-City Dijon study. We studied the association of WMH volume and brain infarct, with incident ischemic stroke overall, and by subtype, and with incident ICH.
Results—High total, periventricular, and deep WMHs were associated with incident ICH. Extensive periventricular WMH volume was associated with increased risk of ischemic stroke (hazard ratio, 1.94; 95% confidence interval, 1.12–3.35), particularly cardioembolic stroke. Covert brain infarcts were associated with incident ICH but not with incident ischemic stroke or its subtypes.
Conclusions—Although of ischemic nature, both WMH volume and covert brain infarcts portend a major risk of ICH. If confirmed in independent studies, these findings could have important implications for the clinical management of covert vascular brain lesions.
- Received January 12, 2016.
- Revision received April 21, 2016.
- Accepted April 29, 2016.
- © 2016 American Heart Association, Inc.