Evaluation of the Presence of Leukoaraiosis in Correlation With Selected Risk Factors for Vascular Diseases in Patients With Newly Diagnosed Stroke

Abstract: Stroke is one of the most common causes of mortality and disability in the elderly and promotes the development of cognitive functions. Risk factors for stroke include hypertension, dyslipidemia, ischemic heart disease, arrhythmia, atherosclerosis and leukoaraiosis. Prospective assessment of the dependency between the occurrence of leukoaraiosis, selected blood laboratory parameters, ultrasound results of carotid duplex ultrasonography and cognitive impairment in patients with newly diagnosed stroke was performed. The study group consisted of 50 patients at the age of 71.3 ± 11.8 years hospitalized in the Department of Neurology in Zabrze due to a stroke. Patients were subjected to physical examination, neurological examination with the NIHSS (National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale) and the MMSE (Mini- Mental State Exmination) test. Laboratory blood tests, carotid duplex ultrasonography and CT (computer tomography) scan of the head were performed. Statistical analysis was performed by using the Statistica program. Leukoaraiosis was found more frequently in patients over 74 years old (mean age 80 vs 69, p=0.008) and its presence correlated with higher LDL (low density lipoprotein) cholesterol (p=0.04) and higher CIMT (carotid intima-media thickness) in carotid arteries (p=0.04). Patients with leukoaraiosis achieved worse results in the clock test (p=0.04), median score 1 vs 5. Significantly lower incidence of leukoaraiosis was observed among patients taking beta-blockers (p=0.003) and calcium channel blockers (p=0.04). The occurrence of leukoaraiosis among patients with newly diagnosed stroke is associated with an intensity of other vascular risk factors and cognitive impairment.

Dawid Mamak, Maciej Horyniecki, Mateusz Rajche, Aleksandra Lupa, Justyna Szalajko, Kaja Skowronek, Monika Adamczyk-Sowa

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