Cerebral microvascular lesions on High-Resolution 7T MRI in patients with type 2 diabetes

  1. on behalf of the Utrecht Vascular Cognitive Impairment (VCI) Study Group
  1. 1 Department of Neurology, Brain Center Rudolf Magnus, University Medical Center Utrecht, the Netherlands
  2. 2 Image Sciences Institute, University Medical Center Utrecht, the Netherlands
  3. 3 Department of Radiology, University Medical Center Utrecht, the Netherlands
  1. Corresponding author: Manon Brundel, E-mail: M.Brundel-2{at}


Cerebral small vessel disease, including microvascular lesions, is considered to play an important role in the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) associated cognitive deficits. With ultra-high field MRI microvascular lesions (e.g. microinfarcts and microbleeds) can now be visualized in vivo. For the present study, 48 nondemented older individuals with T2DM (mean age 70.3±4.1 years) and 49 age-, sex-, and education-matched control subjects underwent a 7T brain MRI scan and a detailed cognitive assessment. The occurrence of cortical microinfarcts and cerebral microbleeds was assessed on FLAIR and T1-weighted images and T2*-weighted images respectively, compared between the groups and related to cognitive performance. Microinfarcts were found in 38% of controls and 48% of patients with T2DM. Microbleeds were present in 41% of control participants, and 33% of patients (all p>0.05). Presence and number of microinfarcts or microbleeds were unrelated to cognitive performance. This study showed that microvascular brain lesions on ultra-high field MRI are not significantly more common in well-controlled patients with T2DM than in controls.

  • Received January 23, 2014.
  • Accepted April 14, 2014.

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