Review Article| Volume 25, ISSUE 6, P1301-1306, June 2016

An Up-to-Date Review on Cerebral Microbleeds


      Cerebral microbleeds (CMBs) are small cerebrovascular lesions. More and more CMBs have been found in patients with ischemic stroke, dementia, and cerebral amyloid angiopathy, as well as some normal elderly populations. The objective of this study is to summarize the main risk factor, impairment, and therapy of CMBs.


      We searched and scanned all the literature with the keyword “cerebral microbleeds” or “CMBs” in the database of PubMed and Elsevier.


      The risks factors for CMBs are complicated, including those that cause large-vessel disease, such as hypertension and old age, and those that cause small-vessel disease, such as amyloid deposits, endothelial lesions, and atrial fibrillation. Moreover, drugs and therapies used to treat cerebrovascular diseases such as statin, intravenous thrombolysis, and coumarin may also increase risk of CMBs. The relationship between antiplatelet treatment and CMBs is now unclear. Gene polymorphisms have been considered to be associated with CMBs. Gene mutations involving collagen type IV alpha 1 and collagen type IV alpha 2, sortilin-related receptor gene, forkhead box C1, and paired-like homeodomain 2 were reported to affect CMBs with the modification of corresponding proteins and functions. The cognition impairment caused by CMBs draws great attention. White matter deterioration is the possible answer. However, different studies could not reach the same conclusion on the damage of cognition of CMBs.


      Further research is needed to provide effectual therapeutic proposals for CMBs, which differ from the treatment for large-artery disease and dementia.

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