High degree of dilated virchow-robin spaces on MRI is associated with increased risk of dementia

Yi-Cheng Zhu, Carole Dufouil, Aïcha Soumaré, Bernard Mazoyer, Hugues Chabriat, Christophe Tzourio
JAD. 2010-10-01; 22(2): 663-672
DOI: 10.3233/JAD-2010-100378

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1. J Alzheimers Dis. 2010;22(2):663-72. doi: 10.3233/JAD-2010-100378.

High degree of dilated Virchow-Robin spaces on MRI is associated with increased
risk of dementia.

Zhu YC(1), Dufouil C, Soumaré A, Mazoyer B, Chabriat H, Tzourio C.

Author information:
(1)INSERM, U708, Paris, France.

The clinical significance of dilated Virchow-Robin spaces (dVRS) remains unclear
and their impact on cognitive performances has only been reported in small sample
studies. Our aim was to assess the association between severity of dVRS and risk
of incident dementia and cognitive decline in an elderly cohort. The degree of
dVRS in both white matter and basal ganglia were ranked using high-resolution 3D
MRI in a population-based sample of 1,778 non-demented participants from 65 to 80
years of age, who had a cerebral MRI at baseline. Cognitive function was assessed
and dementia was diagnosed during a 4-year follow-up period. Cox proportional
hazard models were used to examine the association between dVRS degree on a
four-level severity score and incident dementia. The relationship between dVRS
degree and change in cognition was examined using linear mixed effect models.
During 6,135 person-years of follow-up, 27 individuals developed dementia. The
highest degree of dVRS was associated with a strong increase in the risk of
incident dementia independently of other standard risk factors of dementia, both
for dVRS in white matter (HR=9.8, 95% CI 1.7-55.3) and in basal ganglia (HR =5.8,
95% CI 1.2-28.4). After further adjustment on white matter hyperintensity volume
and brain infarcts, this association remained significant for dVRS in white
matter. Higher rate of cognitive decline was found to be related to high degree
of dVRS in basal ganglia but not in white matter. These results need confirmation
but they suggest that assessment of the severity of dVRS may help identify groups
of individuals that are at increased risk of dementia.

DOI: 10.3233/JAD-2010-100378
PMID: 20847444 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

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