eISSN: 1509-572x
ISSN: 1641-4640
Folia Neuropathologica
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1/2017
 
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abstract:
Original paper

Frequency and topography of small cerebrovascular lesions in vascular and in mixed dementia: a post-mortem 7-tesla magnetic resonance imaging study with neuropathological correlates

Jacques De Reuck, Florent Auger, Nicolas Durieux, Vincent Deramecourt, Claude-Alain Maurage, Charlotte Cordonnier, Florence Pasquier, Didier Leys, Regis Bordet

Folia Neuropathol 2017; 55 (1): 31-37
Introduction: Mixed dementia (MixD) refers to a combination of definite Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and vascular encephalopathy. The existence of a “pure” type of vascular dementia (VaD) is controversial. There is a need to find magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) characteristics allowing the distinction between VaD and MixD. The present post-mortem 7.0-tesla MRI compares the frequency or severity and the topography of the small cerebrovascular lesions in brains of patients with VaD and with MixD.

Material and methods: Based on neuropathological criteria, 14 brains were classified as VaD, 24 as MixD and 11 as controls. Three coronal sections of a cerebral hemisphere and a horizontal section of a cerebellar hemisphere underwent T2 and T2* 7.0-tesla MRI examination. The mean values and topographic distribution of white matter changes (WMCs), lacunar infarcts (LIs), cortical microbleeds (CoMBs) and cortical microinfarcts (CoMIs) were determined and compared between the different groups.

Results: Compared to the controls, both VaD and MixD brains had significantly more severe WMCs and increased numbers of CoMBs and CoMIs. Lacunar infarcts predominated only in the VaD cases. On mutual comparison of VaD and MixD brains, CoMBs and CoMIs predominated in the frontal lobe and the cerebellum of VaD, while were mainly present in the occipital lobe of MixD. White matter changes predominated in the temporal lobe of MixD cases. Lacunar infarcts were significantly increased in the corona radiata and putamen of VaD patients.

Conclusions: The present post-mortem MRI study shows clear differences in the distribution and the types of cerebrovascular lesions on high-field MRI, confirming that VaD and MixD are different diseases.

keywords:

post-mortem 70-tesla MRI, vascular dementia, mixed dementia, topographic distribution of small cerebrovascular lesions, cortical microbleeds, cortical microinfarcts, white matter changes, lacunar infarcts

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