Contribution of white matter hyperintensities to ventricular enlargement in older adults
Angela CC Jochems,
Maria del C Valdes Hernandez,
Adele M. Taylor,
Francesca M Chappell,
Ellen V Backhouse,
Michael S Stringer,
David Alexander Dickie,
Ian J Deary,
Simon R Cox,
Posted 12 May 2021
medRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2021.05.11.21256794
Posted 12 May 2021
Background and Purpose. Ventricular enlargement, especially enlargement of the lateral ventricles, is thought to be positively associated with white matter hyperintensities (WMH). Possible mechanisms behind the association are unclear. Lateral ventricles might increase due to generalised brain tissue loss not specific to periventricular WMH. Alternatively, they may expand into areas of tissue loss related to WMH, take up space and grow in size. Methods. We investigated relations between longitudinal lateral ventricle and WMH volume changes, alongside vascular risk factors, in community-dwelling older people. We assessed lateral ventricle and WMH volumes, accounting for total brain volume, blood pressure, medical assessments and self-reported history of stroke, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and smoking. We used longitudinal data at three time points, each three years apart, between ages 73 to 79, including MRI data from all available time points. Results. Lateral ventricle volume increased steadily with age in all participants, WMH volume change was more variable. Decrease of WMH volume was found in around 20% and increase in remaining subjects. Using a repeated-measurements linear mixed model we found that over 6 years, lateral ventricle volume increased by 3% per year of age, 0.1% per mm Hg increase in mean blood pressure, 3.2% per 1% decrease of total brain volume, and 4.5% per 1% increase of WMH volume. Over time, lateral ventricle volumes were 19% smaller in women than men. No associations were found with other variables. Conclusions. Changes in lateral ventricle volumes and WMH volumes over time are only modestly associated, independent of general brain atrophy.
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