Decreased kidney function relates to progression of cerebral microbleeds in lacunar stroke patients

Ellen C. van Overbeek*, Julie Staals, Robert J. van Oostenbrugge

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

15 Citations (Web of Science)


Background It is hypothesized that impaired kidney function and cerebral microbleeds represent microvascular damage in different organs. Several cross-sectional studies found impaired kidney function to be associated with the presence of cerebral microbleeds. Aim To further confirm the association between both small vessel diseases, we aimed to determine whether kidney function is related to progression of cerebral microbleeds in a longitudinal study design. Methods In 89 lacunar stroke patients, baseline brain magnetic resonance imaging (including gradient-echo images), baseline estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), blood pressure measurements, and follow-up brain magnetic resonance imaging after two years were available. Presence of cerebral microbleeds on baseline and follow-up magnetic resonance imaging was scored visually. Cerebral microbleeds progression was defined as the presence of any new microbleed on follow-up magnetic resonance imaging. The association between cerebral microbleeds progression (dependent variable) and eGFR (independent variable) was assessed by logistic regression analysis. Results Cerebral microbleeds progression was present in 17 patients (19.1%). Lower eGFR was associated with cerebral microbleeds progression (OR 1.55 per 10ml/min/1.73m(2) decrease, 95% CI 1.05-2.30, with correction for sex and age). After additional correction for baseline presence of cerebral microbleeds or correction for cardiovascular risk factors, including blood pressure, this result remained significant. Conclusions In this longitudinal study, we found an independent association between lower eGFR and cerebral microbleeds progression. Cerebral microbleeds and impaired kidney function are both seen as manifestations of microvascular organ damage and our findings further strengthen the association between both small vessel pathologies and also the assumption that small vessel disease could be considered a multisystem disorder.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)695-700
JournalInternational journal of stroke
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2016


  • Cerebral microbleeds
  • small vessel disease
  • magnetic resonance imaging
  • lacunar stroke
  • kidney function
  • estimated glomerular filtration rate

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