Cavitation of Deep Lacunar Infarcts in Patients With First-Ever Lacunar Stroke A 2-Year Follow-Up Study With MR

Caroline M. J. Loos*, Julie Staals, Joanna M. Wardlaw, Robert J. van Oostenbrugge

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background and Purpose-Studies in patients with lacunar stroke often assess the number of lacunes. However, data on how many symptomatic lacunar infarcts cavitate into a lacune are limited. We assessed the evolution of symptomatic lacunar infarcts over 2-year follow-up. Methods-In 82 patients with first-ever lacunar stroke with a lacunar infarct in the deep brain regions (excluding the centrum semiovale), we performed a brain MR at presentation and 2 years later. We classified cavitation of lacunar infarcts at baseline and on follow-up MR as absent, incomplete, or complete. We recorded time to imaging, infarct size, and vascular risk factors. Results-On baseline MR, 38 (46%) index infarcts showed complete or incomplete cavitation. Median time to imaging was 8 (0-73) days in noncavitated and 63 (1-184) days in cavitated lesions (P <0.05). On follow-up imaging, 94% of the lacunar infarcts were completely or incompletely cavitated, most had reduced in diameter, and 5 (6%) had disappeared. Vascular risk factors were not associated with cavitation. Conclusion-Cavitation and lesion shrinkage were seen in almost all symptomatic lacunar infarcts in the deep brain regions over 2-year follow-up. Counting lacunes in these specific regions at a random moment might slightly, however not substantially, underestimate the burden of deep lacunar infarction. (Stroke. 2012; 43: 2245-2247.)
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2245-U450
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2012


  • cerebral small vessel disease
  • lacunar infarcts
  • lacunes
  • MRI

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