Research Article| Volume 29, ISSUE 4, 104650, April 2020

Cerebral Microbleeds and Chronic Kidney Disease in Acute Ischemic Stroke Patients with Atrial Fibrillation


      Background: Cerebral microbleeds (CMBs) are associated with the risk of intracerebral hemorrhage in stroke patients with atrial fibrillation (AF). We investigated the association between CMBs and chronic kidney disease (CKD) in patients with acute ischemic stroke and AF. Methods: We retrospectively examined consecutive patients with acute ischemic stroke and AF who underwent brain gradient-echo T2*-weighted magnetic resonance imaging. The number and distribution (lobar, deep or infratentorial, and mixed) of CMBs were assessed. Kidney function was assessed according to the estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), which was calculated using a modified version of the Modification of Diet in Renal Disease equation. Results: Of the 357 included patients, 105 (29.4%) had CMBs. CKD (eGFR < 60 mL/min/1.73 m2) was found in 131 (36.7%) patients. Patients with CKD showed a higher prevalence of any form of CMB (41.2% versus 22.6%, P < .001), deep or infratentorial CMBs (19.9% versus 9.3%, P < .01), and mixed CMBs (14.5% versus 5.3%, P < .01) than those without CKD. After adjusting for age and other confounding factors, CKD was found to be independently associated with the presence of any form of CMB (odds ratio 1.89, P = .02) and mixed CMBs (odds ratio 3.10, P < .01). Moreover, moderate to severe CKD (eGFR < 45 mL/min/1.73 m2) was independently associated with the presence of multiple CMBs (odds ratio 2.31, P = .04). Conclusions: CMBs and CKD are common in acute ischemic stroke patients with AF, and CKD may be a risk factor for CMBs. Further longitudinal studies are needed to evaluate whether maintaining kidney function can prevent the development of CMBs.

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