Increasing evidences have showed that neuroimaging markers of SVD can predict the short-term outcome of acute ischemic stroke (AIS).

It is unclear that whether neuroimaging markers of SVD are also associated with short-term outcomes of minor cerebrovascular events. In the present study, we investigate neuroimaging markers of SVD in order to explore their roles in prediction of short-term outcome in patients with minor cerebrovascular events.


Consecutive first-ever stroke patients (n = 546) from the Affiliated Jiangning Hospital of Nanjing Medical University were enrolled. A total of 388 patients were enrolled according to minor cerebrovascular events definition (National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale Score ≤ 3) and exclusion criteria. MRI scans were performed within 7 days of stroke onset, and then neuroimaging markers of SVD including WMH, lacunes, cerebral microbleeds (CMB), and perivascular spaces (PVS), SVD burden scores were assessed. We completed baseline characteristics and evaluated the relationships of short-term outcomes to SVD neuroimaging markers and SVD scores. The 90-day modified Rankin Scale (mRS) was thought as primary outcome and was dichotomized as good functional outcome (mRS 0–1) and poor outcome (mRS 2–6). Secondary outcomes were stroke progression and stroke recurrence.


Higher age, National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) upon admission, lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 (LP-PLA2) and lacunes, Fazekas score were correlated with poor functional outcome (P < 0.05), But after adjusting for confounding variables, among the neuroimaging markers of cerebral small vessel disease, only Fazekas score (OR, 1.343; 95% confidence interval, 1.020–1.770; P = 0.036) was found to be associated with poor outcome at 90 days. Higher Fazekas and SVD scores were not associated with stroke progression or stroke recurrence.


WMH can predict the poor functional outcome of minor cerebrovascular events. Adding other neuroimaging markers of SVD and total SVD burden score, however, does not improve the prediction, which indicated WMH can as neuroimaging markers for guiding the treatment of minor cerebrovascular events.

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