Effect of Antihypertensive Medication on Cerebral Small Vessel Disease
A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Background and Purpose—Hypertension is an important risk factor for cerebral small vessel disease. We aimed to study the effect of antihypertensive medication (AHM) on the progression of cerebral small vessel disease.
Methods—We performed a systematic literature search of electronic databases up to January 30, 2017, for randomized controlled trials on the effect of AHM on ≥1 cerebral small vessel disease magnetic resonance imaging markers (ie, white matter hyperintensities, lacunes, microbleeds, enlarged perivascular spaces, acute small subcortical infarcts, and brain atrophy) after ≥1 year. We performed a random-effects meta-analysis using standardized mean difference.
Results—We included 4 trials, including patients with stroke, with diabetes mellitus, and people ≥70 years of age. Patients in the AHM group had less progression of white matter hyperintensity during 28 to 47 months (standardized mean difference, −0.19; 95% confidence interval, −0.32 to −0.06; I2=20%; n=1369). Two trials reported on progression of brain atrophy with conflicting results. None of the trials reported on other cerebral small vessel disease markers.
Conclusions—AHM has a protective effect on the progression of white matter hyperintensities, but no effect on brain atrophy. There are no trials on the effect of AHM on lacunes, microbleeds, enlarged perivascular spaces, or acute small subcortical infarcts.
- Received January 2, 2018.
- Revision received March 27, 2018.
- Accepted April 9, 2018.
- © 2018 American Heart Association, Inc.