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- Open Access
CMR-assessed aortic arch stiffness is associated with brain tissue integrity assessed by diffusion tensor imaging in patients with hypertension
© Sala et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2015
- Published: 3 February 2015
- Fractional Anisotropy
- Aortic Arch
- Diffusion Tensor Imaging
- Pulse Wave Velocity
- Small Vessel Disease
Increased aortic stiffness may lead to insufficient flow wave dampening and subsequent transmission of excessive pulsatile energy towards end-organs such as the brain. It has been shown that CMR-assessed aortic stiffness may augment cerebral small vessel disease in patients with hypertension, as assessed by conventional structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). However, in addition to these overt brain abnormalities, currently it is unknown whether aortic stiffening relates to subtle changes in brain tissue integrity, which may be a precursor to overt brain abnormalities. Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) in the brain has been used to evaluate such subtle changes in tissue integrity. The aim of this study was to assess the association between aortic arch pulse wave velocity (PWV) as a marker of arterial stiffness and brain changes assessed by conventional structural MRI as well as DTI in patients with hypertension.
Association between CMR-assessed aortic arch PWV and brain volume, white matter lesion volume, and DTI measures of brain microstructure.
Brain volume (cm2)
Ln white matter lesion volume (mL)
Our data suggest that aortic arch stiffness is independently associated with changes in brain tissue integrity in patients with hypertension. Subtle changes in brain microstructure are related to increased stiffness of the aortic arch, even in absence of overt brain abnormalities.
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