Relationships between Cerebral Vasculopathies and Microinfarcts in a Community-Based Cohort of Older Adults

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Journal of clinical medicine








arteriolosclerosis; cerebral amyloid angiopathy; cortical; microinfarcts; subcortical


Cerebral microinfarcts are associated with cognitive impairment and dementia. Small vessel diseases such as cerebral arteriolosclerosis and cerebral amyloid angiography (CAA) have been found to be associated with microinfarcts. Less is known about the associations of these vasculopathies with the presence, numbers, and location of microinfarcts. These associations were examined in the clinical and autopsy data of 842 participants in the Adult Changes in Thought (ACT) study. Both vasculopathies were categorized by severity (none, mild, moderate, and severe) and region (cortical and subcortical). Odds ratios (OR) and 95% CIs for microinfarcts associated with arteriolosclerosis and CAA adjusted for possible modifying covariates such as age at death, sex, blood pressure, genotype, Braak, and CERAD were estimated. 417 (49.5%) had microinfarcts (cortical, 301; subcortical, 249), 708 (84.1%) had cerebral arteriolosclerosis, 320 (38%) had CAA, and 284 (34%) had both. Ors (95% CI) for any microinfarct were 2.16 (1.46-3.18) and 4.63 (2.90-7.40) for those with moderate ( = 183) and severe ( = 124) arteriolosclerosis, respectively. Respective Ors (95% CI) for the number of microinfarcts were 2.25 (1.54-3.30) and 4.91 (3.18-7.60). Similar associations were observed for cortical and subcortical microinfarcts. Ors (95% Cis) for the number of microinfarcts associated with mild ( = 75), moderate ( = 73), and severe ( = 15) amyloid angiopathy were 0.95 (0.66-1.35), 1.04 (0.71-1.52), and 2.05 (0.94-4.45), respectively. Respective Ors (95% Cis) for cortical microinfarcts were 1.05 (0.71-1.56), 1.50 (0.99-2.27), and 1.69 (0.73-3.91). Respective Ors (95% Cis) for subcortical microinfarcts were 0.84 (0.55-1.28), 0.72 (0.46-1.14), and 0.92 (0.37-2.28). These findings suggest a significant association of cerebral arteriolosclerosis with the presence, number, and location (cortical and subcortical) of microinfarcts, and a weak and non-significant association of CAA with each microinfarct, highlighting the need for future research to better understand the role of small vessel diseases in the pathogenesis of cerebral microinfarcts.


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