Cerebral amyloid angiopathy: An important differential diagnosis of stroke in the elderly

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Abstract

Cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA) accounts for approximately 10-20% of spontaneous intracerebral haemorrhage (ICH). This figure is thought to be higher in the elderly population. With the increasing life expectancy of our population, we anticipate that the prevalence of CAA- related ICH will increase in tandem. Although CAA-related ICH and hypertension-related ICH are distinct entities based on histopathology and imaging, the clinical presentation of the two conditions is similar. The use of brain computed tomography (CT) scans remain the ICH imaging modality of choice in Malaysia due to its availability, cost, and sensitivity in detecting acute bleeds. On the other hand, the use of brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with susceptibility-weighted imaging (SWI) sequencing enables the clinician to determine the presence of chronic blood products in the brain, especially clinically silent microbleeds associated with CAA. However, the use of brain MRI scans in our country is limited and leads to a blurring of lines when differentiating between hypertension- related ICH and CAA-related ICH. How this misrepresentation affects the management of these conditions is unclear. In this study, we present two cases of ICH to illustrate this point and to serve as a springboard to question current practice and promote discussion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)74-78
Number of pages5
JournalMalaysian Journal of Medical Sciences
Volume22
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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Cerebral Amyloid Angiopathy
Cerebral Hemorrhage
Differential Diagnosis
Stroke
Brain
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Hypertension
Malaysia
Life Expectancy
Population
Tomography
Costs and Cost Analysis

Keywords

  • Cerebral amyloid angiopathy
  • Intracerebral haemorrhage
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

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title = "Cerebral amyloid angiopathy: An important differential diagnosis of stroke in the elderly",
abstract = "Cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA) accounts for approximately 10-20{\%} of spontaneous intracerebral haemorrhage (ICH). This figure is thought to be higher in the elderly population. With the increasing life expectancy of our population, we anticipate that the prevalence of CAA- related ICH will increase in tandem. Although CAA-related ICH and hypertension-related ICH are distinct entities based on histopathology and imaging, the clinical presentation of the two conditions is similar. The use of brain computed tomography (CT) scans remain the ICH imaging modality of choice in Malaysia due to its availability, cost, and sensitivity in detecting acute bleeds. On the other hand, the use of brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with susceptibility-weighted imaging (SWI) sequencing enables the clinician to determine the presence of chronic blood products in the brain, especially clinically silent microbleeds associated with CAA. However, the use of brain MRI scans in our country is limited and leads to a blurring of lines when differentiating between hypertension- related ICH and CAA-related ICH. How this misrepresentation affects the management of these conditions is unclear. In this study, we present two cases of ICH to illustrate this point and to serve as a springboard to question current practice and promote discussion.",
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AB - Cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA) accounts for approximately 10-20% of spontaneous intracerebral haemorrhage (ICH). This figure is thought to be higher in the elderly population. With the increasing life expectancy of our population, we anticipate that the prevalence of CAA- related ICH will increase in tandem. Although CAA-related ICH and hypertension-related ICH are distinct entities based on histopathology and imaging, the clinical presentation of the two conditions is similar. The use of brain computed tomography (CT) scans remain the ICH imaging modality of choice in Malaysia due to its availability, cost, and sensitivity in detecting acute bleeds. On the other hand, the use of brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with susceptibility-weighted imaging (SWI) sequencing enables the clinician to determine the presence of chronic blood products in the brain, especially clinically silent microbleeds associated with CAA. However, the use of brain MRI scans in our country is limited and leads to a blurring of lines when differentiating between hypertension- related ICH and CAA-related ICH. How this misrepresentation affects the management of these conditions is unclear. In this study, we present two cases of ICH to illustrate this point and to serve as a springboard to question current practice and promote discussion.

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