Silent Stroke Not Listened to Rather Than Silent

FRCP, Department of Pharmacology, Building MD11 Level 5, Medical Drive, NUH, Singapore 117597. .
Stroke (Impact Factor: 6.02). 09/2012; 43(11):3102-4. DOI: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.112.666461
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The prevalence of silent brain infarcts varies from 8% to 28% in the general elderly population. Silent brain infarcts are associated with increased risk of subsequent stroke and cognitive dysfunction. By definition, silent strokes lack clinically overt stroke-like symptoms and fail to come to clinical attention; however, impaired recall of symptoms may be a potential confounder. Our aim is to report a series of patients with incidentally detected acute and subacute strokes and examine whether they were truly asymptomatic.
Subjects included in this study were drawn from ongoing dementia research studies at the Memory Ageing and Cognition Center, in which all participants underwent a cranial MRI. Incidental hyperintense lesions on diffusion-weighted imaging with corresponding apparent diffusion coefficient defects indicative of acute/subacute silent stroke were identified. Clinical data for individuals with incidental hyperintense lesions on diffusion-weighted imaging were collated.
Six of 649 subjects had incidental hyperintense lesions on diffusion-weighted imaging; on retrospective questioning, 3 recalled symptoms temporally correlated with MRI lesions, which had been reported to but ignored by family members. Two subjects had focal neurological signs. A majority of the subjects with incidental hyperintense lesions on diffusion-weighted imaging had significant cognitive impairment.
A significant number of strokes may be "silent" due to lack of awareness of stroke-like symptoms in the elderly and their families. Enhanced stroke prevention education strategies are needed for the elderly population and, in particular, for their families.


Available from: Christopher L H Chen, Jun 03, 2015
1 Follower
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study is to describe the frequency of isolated, subtle, neurological abnormalities (ISNAs) in a large population of neurologically and cognitively healthy subjects and to compare ISNAs to various types of MRI-detected cerebrovascular lesions and subcortical brain atrophy in different age classes. 907 subjects were selected from a large, prospective hospital-based study. At baseline neurological examination, 17 ISNAs were selected. Primitive reflexes were the most common ISNAs (35.8 %), while dysphagia was the most rarely encountered (0.3 %). Measures of small vessel disease, i.e., deep and subcortical white matter hyperintensity and lacunar infarcts as well as subcortical atrophy, were variously associated with ISNAs. In the adult group, the ISNAs were associated with hypertriglyceridemia, TIA, and subcortical lacunar infarcts, while in the elderly-old group they were associated with arterial hypertension, subcortical white matter hyperintensity, and subcortical atrophy. An increased risk of ISNAs was associated with lacunae and white matter hyperintensity in the parietal region. This study shows that white matter hyperintensity, lacunae, and subcortical atrophy are associated with an increased risk of ISNAs in cognitively and neurologically healthy aging subjects. ISNAs are not benign signs. Therefore, adults and elderly people presenting with ISNAs should have access to accurate history and diagnosis to prevent progression of small vessel disease and future neurological and cognitive disabilities.
    Journal of Neurology 04/2015; DOI:10.1007/s00415-015-7716-5 · 3.84 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background and Purpose-Incidental magnetic resonance diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI)-positive lesions, considered to represent small acute infarcts, have been detected in patients with cerebral small vessel diseases or cognitive impairment, but the prevalence in the community population is unknown. Methods-DWI sequences collected in 793 participants in the Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiological (PURE) study were reviewed for DWI lesions consistent with small acute infarcts. Results-No DWI-positive lesions were detected (0%, 95% confidence interval, 0-0.5). Conclusions-DWI-positive lesions are rare in an asymptomatic community population. The prevalence of DWI-positive lesions in the community seems to be lower than in patients with cerebral amyloid angiopathy, intracerebral hemorrhage, or cognitive impairment.
    Stroke 06/2014; 45(7). DOI:10.1161/STROKEAHA.114.005782 · 6.02 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to determine the importance of sleep apnea in relation to clinically silent microvascular brain tissue changes in patients with acute cerebral ischemia. Patients with acute cerebral ischemia prospectively underwent nocturnal respiratory polygraphy within 5 days from symptom-onset. Sleep apnea was defined as apnea-hypopnea-index (AHI) ≥5/h. Experienced readers blinded to clinical and sleep-related data reviewed brain computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging scans for leukoaraiosis and chronic lacunar infarctions. Ischemic lesions were considered clinically silent when patients did not recall associated stroke-like symptoms. Functional outcome was assessed with modified Rankin Scale at discharge, 6 and 12 months. Fifty-one of 56 (91 %) patients had sleep apnea of any degree. Patients with moderate-to-severe leukoaraiosis (Wahlund score ≥5) were found to have higher mean AHI than those with none or mild leukoaraiosis (34.4 vs. 12.8/h, p < 0.001). Moderate-to-severe sleep apnea (AHI ≥15/h) was found to be an independent predictor of moderate-to-severe leukoaraiosis (adjusted OR 6.03, 95 % CI 1.76-20.6, p = 0.0042) and of moderate-to-severe leukoaraiosis associated with clinically silent chronic lacunar infarctions (adjusted OR 10.5, 95 % CI 2.19-50.6, p = 0.003). The higher the Wahlund score and the AHI, the more likely unfavorable functional outcome resulted over time (p = 0.0373). In acute cerebral ischemia, sleep apnea is associated with clinically silent microvascular brain tissue changes and may negatively influence functional outcome. Routine sleep apnea screening and further investigation of possible long-term effects of non-invasive ventilatory treatment of sleep apnea appear warranted in this at-risk population.
    Journal of Neurology 11/2013; DOI:10.1007/s00415-013-7200-z · 3.84 Impact Factor