Netherlands Heart Journal, Volume 23, Issue 6, 01 June 2015, Pages 314-320 Morphological and functional carotid vessel wall properties in relation to cerebral white matter lesions in myocardial infarction patients. Kröner ES, van der Grond J, Westenberg JJ, van der Wall EE, Siebelink HM, Lamb HJ
Atherosclerotic large vessel disease is potentially involved in the pathogenesis of cerebral small vessel disease related to occurrence of white matter lesions (WMLs) in the brain. We aimed to assess morphological and functional carotid vessel wall properties in relation to WML using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in myocardial infarction (MI) patients.
Materials and methods
A total of 20 MI patients (90 % male, 61 ± 11 years) underwent carotid artery and brain MRI. Carotid vessel wall thickness (VWT) was assessed, by detecting lumen and outer wall contours. Carotid pulse wave velocity (PWV), a measure of elasticity, was determined using the transit-time method. Patients were divided according to the median VWT into two groups. Brain MRI allowed for the WML score.
Mean VWT was 1.41 ± 0.29 mm and mean carotid PWV was 7.0 ± 2.2 m/s. A significant correlation (Pearson r = 0.45, p = 0.046) between VWT and PWV was observed. Furthermore, in the group of high VWT, the median WML score was higher as compared with the group with lower VWT (4.0 vs 3.0, p = 0.035).
Carotid artery morphological and functional alterations are correlated in MI patients. Patients with high VWT showed a higher amount of periventricular WMLs. These findings support the hypothesis that atherosclerotic large vessel disease is potentially involved in the pathogenesis of cerebral small vessel disease.