Common carotid artery intima media thickness and post-stroke cognitive impairment.J Neurol Sci. 2004 Aug 30; 223(2):129-34.JN
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE
Acute stroke and other forms of cerebrovascular disease are well-recognized causes of cognitive impairment. Common carotid artery intima media thickness (CCA-IMT) has been associated with certain forms of cerebrovascular disease, but its association with cognitive impairment of vascular origin has not been elucidated. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether CCA-IMT is associated with cognitive impairment 1 year after an acute ischemic stroke.
A total of 171 consecutive patients with the first ever stroke (mean age 66+/-11.5, 41% female) underwent carotid ultrasonography during hospitalization. Demographic data, vascular risk factors and presenting stroke features were also recorded. One year later, patients' cognitive performance and depression were assessed using the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), and the Montgomery Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS).
Cognitive impairment (MMSE score<24) was found in 67 (39%) of the 171 patients. CCA-IMT was significantly associated with cognitive impairment, and this association remained unchanged (OR 1.94; 95% CI 1.19-3.18) after adjustment for demographic data, vascular risk factors, stroke features, other carotid ultrasonography measurements and depression. Older age, low education level, large hemispheric lesions, hyperdense carotid plaques and depression were also independently associated with post-stroke cognitive impairment.
In this study, CCA-IMT was independently associated with cognitive impairment 1 year after an acute ischemic stroke, and thus, it might help with the screening of stroke patients at risk of cognitive impairment.