Small Brain Lesion Leads to Big Stroke
Abstract： According to a recent study published in Annals of Internal Medicine, having very small lesions in the brain, which are usually taken as benign, have three times higher risk for stroke and stroke related death in adults older than 55 years. In contrast, carrying lesions larger than 3 mm would double risk while having both size lesions would increase the risk by nine-fold.
This study was conducted on 1884 adults aged at least 55 years and brain lesions were identified with hyperintensity in gray matter on proton density and T2-weighted magnetic resonance images. A different type of pathological abnormality of small lesions may play an important role in increased stroke-related death rate.
These small lesions usally get ignored by radiologists thinking those are clinically non-significant or even benign cases which might be true with older MRI techniques having low spatial resolution. However, with cutting edge MRI hardware and techniques, the study shows that this thinking may be outdated and misleading.
Ralph Sacco, MD, professor and chair, Department of Neurology, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Florida, and past president, American Heart/American Stroke Association，accounted the study as a call to action on patient care and said “When physicians who are taking care of a patient get an MRI report back that was done for another reason (that indicates the presence of very small lesions), they may want to take these findings more seriously and be a little more aggressive in risk factor management.”