Association between the extent of white matter damage and early cognitive impairment following acute ischemic stroke
- Jian Li
- Yong Zhao
- Jinying Mao
Published online on: Wednesday, January 11, 2017
White matter (WM) injury following acute ischemic stroke (AIS) is associated with cognitive decline. Establishing relationships between the specific cognitive tests used to assess post-AIS cognition and various clinical indices of WM injury severity and distribution may aid in prognosis and early treatment decisions. We enrolled 62 patients with AIS to Weifang People's Hospital between September 2014 and August 2015. WM lesion severity and distribution were examined by computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The Blennow scale was used for scoring the distribution and degree of WM lesions (WMLs) on CT images, the Fazekas scale for scoring periventricular and deep WMLs on MRI, and the Cholinergic Pathways Hyperintensities Scale (CHIPS) for scoring MRI manifestation of cholinergic fiber damage. The 8-domain Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) was used to evaluate cognitive function. Mean ± standard deviation scores on the Blennow scale was 1.6±0.5; Fazekas scale, 3.4±0.8; and CHIPS, 65.7±12.5. The proportion of patients with a MoCA score <26 (indicating cognitive dysfunction) was significantly higher in subgroups with Blennow scale score >2, Fazekas scale score >4, and CHIPS score >51 (all P<0.001). The MoCA score was negatively correlated with Blennow scale score (r=-0.326, P=0.002), Fazekas scale score (r=-0.404, P=0.031), and CHIPS score (r=-0.234, P=0.042). Thus, the degree and distribution of whole-brain, deep, and cholinergic WMLs were associated with cognitive impairment. The Blennow scale, Fazekas scale, and CHIPS all provide good predictive efficacy of post-AIS cognitive dysfunction.