More severe white matter changes in the elderly with jugular venous reflux

Chih Ping Chung, Pei Ning Wang, Yi Hui Wu, Yu Chien Tsao, Wen Yung Sheng, Ker Neng Lin, Shing Jong Lin, Han Hwa Hu

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Abstract

Objective The etiology of age-related white matter changes is unclear. Cerebral white matter changes on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and progressive dementia have been reported in patients with dural arteriovenous fistulas of the sigmoid sinus. The frequency of jugular venous reflux, which mimics a dural arteriovenous fistula, significantly increases with age. We investigated whether jugular venous reflux was associated with the severity of age-related white matter changes in 97 persons (aged 55-90 years, mean [standard deviation]: 75.77 [8.19] years; 55 men) from a medical center memory clinic. Methods MRI (1.5T) and the semiquantitative Scheltens scale were used to investigate the severity of white matter changes. Subjects were classified into 3 groups (no, mild, and severe jugular venous reflux) by duplex ultrasonography. Results Subjects with severe jugular venous reflux had more severe age-related white matter changes in occipital subcortical, thalamus, pontine, and summed infratentorial regions compared with subjects with no jugular venous reflux (all corrected p < 0.0166), especially subjects aged ≥75 years (corrected p < 0.0166 in occipital subcortical; corrected p < 0.0001 in pontine and summed infratentorial regions). In subjects ≥75 years, we further noted that the whole brain age-related white matter changes rating scores were higher in the severe jugular venous reflux group than the no and mild jugular venous reflux groups (corrected p < 0.0166). Interpretation People with severe jugular venous reflux exhibit more severe age-related white matter changes, especially in caudal brain regions. We also demonstrate age-dependent jugular venous reflux effects on the severity of age-related white matter changes. These findings may provide new clues into the pathophysiology of age-related white matter changes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)553-559
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Neurology
Volume69
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2011
Externally publishedYes

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

Cite this

Chung, C. P., Wang, P. N., Wu, Y. H., Tsao, Y. C., Sheng, W. Y., Lin, K. N., Lin, S. J., & Hu, H. H. (2011). More severe white matter changes in the elderly with jugular venous reflux. Annals of Neurology, 69(3), 553-559. https://doi.org/10.1002/ana.22276