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Varna Medical Forum

MRI features of cerebral small vessel disease

Emilian Kalchev, Radoslav Georgiev, Boyan Balev


Cerebral small vessel disease affects brain vessels with the smallest caliber - small arteries, arterioles, venules, capillaries. There is strong association with cognitive impairment, dementia, psychiatric conditions, gait disturbances. The main markers of cerebral small vessel disease in neuroimaging are white matter hyperintensities, lacunes, microbleeds, enlarged perivascular spaces - all of which long considered to be of a separate etiology and pathogenesis. Today we have enough reason to believe that they are part of the same pathological process, in which the main role is played by the endothelium. Advances in neuroimaging allow us to give more attention to cerebral small vessel disease - an extremely important scientific and social problem.


small vessel disease, MRI, white matter hyperintensities, lacunes, microbleeds, perivascular spaces

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