Cortical cerebral microinfarcts on 7T MRI: Risk factors, neuroimaging correlates and cognitive functioning - The Medea-7T study

Zwartbol, Maarten Ht, Rissanen, Ina, Ghaznawi, Rashid, de Bresser, Jeroen, Kuijf, Hugo J, Blom, Kim, Witkamp, Theo D, Koek, Huiberdina L, Biessels, Geert Jan, Hendrikse, Jeroen, Geerlings, Mirjam I


Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism 41 (11), p. 3127-3138


We determined the occurrence and association of cortical cerebral microinfarcts (CMIs) at 7 T MRI with risk factors, neuroimaging markers of small and large vessel disease, and cognitive functioning. Within the Medea-7T study, a diverse cohort of older persons with normal cognition, patients with vascular disease, and memory clinic patients, we included 386 participants (68 ± 9 years) with available 7 T and 1.5 T/3T brain MRI, and risk factor and neuropsychological data. CMIs were found in 10% of participants and were associated with older age (RR = 1.79 per +10 years, 95%CI 1.28-2.50), history of stroke or TIA (RR = 4.03, 95%CI 2.18-7.43), cortical infarcts (RR = 5.28, 95%CI 2.91-9.55), lacunes (RR = 5.66, 95%CI 2.85-11.27), cerebellar infarcts (RR = 2.73, 95%CI 1.27-5.84) and decreased cerebral blood flow (RR = 1.35 per -100 ml/min, 95%CI 1.00-1.83), after adjustment for age and sex. Furthermore, participants with >2 CMIs had 0.5 SD (95%CI 0.05-0.91) lower global cognitive performance, compared to participants without CMIs. Our results indicate that CMIs on 7 T MRI are observed in vascular and memory clinic patients with similar frequency, and are associated with older age, history of stroke or TIA, other brain infarcts, and poorer global cognitive functioning.