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White Matter Diffusion Abnormalities in Carotid Artery Disease: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

TitleWhite Matter Diffusion Abnormalities in Carotid Artery Disease: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsBaradaran H, Mtui EE, Richardson JE, Delgado D, Dunning A, Marshall RS, Sanelli PC, Gupta A
JournalJ Neuroimaging
Date Published2016 09
KeywordsAnisotropy, Brain Ischemia, Carotid Stenosis, Chronic Disease, Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Humans, Risk Factors, Stroke, White Matter

BACKGROUND & PURPOSE: Abnormalities in apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC), fractional anisotropy (FA), and mean diffusivity (MD) values can be used to assess microstructural damage to white matter tracts and could represent a quantitative marker of chronic ischemia and thereby potentially serve as a stroke risk factor or a measure of existing subclinical ischemic disease burden. We performed a systematic review and 3 separate meta-analyses to evaluate the association between unilateral carotid steno-occlusion and ipsilateral ADC, FA, or MD abnormality.

MATERIALS & METHODS: A comprehensive literature search evaluating the association of carotid disease and quantitative white matter diffusion imaging was performed. The included studies examined patients for ADC, FA, and MD values ipsilateral and contralateral to the site of carotid artery disease. Three meta-analyses using standardized mean differences with assessment of study heterogeneity were performed.

RESULTS: Of the 2,920 manuscripts screened, 6 met eligibility for meta-analysis. Of the included manuscripts, 2 studied ADC values, 6 studied FA values, and 2 studied MD values. Our 3 meta-analyses showed standardized mean difference for ADC, FA, and MD values between cerebral hemispheres ipsilateral and contralateral to carotid artery disease site as 1.13 (95% CI: .79-1.47, P < .001), -.42 (95% CI: -.62 to -.21, P < .001), and .23 (95% CI: -.32 to -.77, P = .41), respectively. Measures of heterogeneity showed mild heterogeneity in the 3 meta-analyses.

CONCLUSION: Carotid artery disease is associated with significant ADC and FA value changes, suggesting that carotid disease is associated with quantifiable white matter microstructural damage.

Alternate JournalJ Neuroimaging
PubMed ID27079165