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Question:

MRI finding :chronic small vessel ischemic changes

Dear Ask The Doctor:
Hello.my name is ira,but this about my mom ... i am really need your help to understand the diagnose . my mom (we are russian )went to Philippines for check up and doctors after MRI give us this diagnose.(my mom around 5 years have some problems with high blood pressure and memory ,she is 49..she is geologist working on computer and 2 years ago she was hit by a car and 4 month ago just fall down on ice and bump her head.). just help me to understand what it means.. 1.tiny T2 signal abnormalities, both periventricular white matter suggestive of chronic small vessel ischemic changes. 2. mild cerebro-cerebellar atrophy 3. right mastoditis. thank you ..


Answer:

The findings in your mother’s MRI basically mean that she has a small vessel disease, chronic small vessel disease arises usually from hypertension or diabetes or some other inflammatory conditions of the blood vessels. This leads to blockage of the small vessels. The area distal to the blockage does not get adequate blood supply and cell death results. One of the common manifestations of small vessel disease is the multi-infarct dementia (Binswanger's disease). The infarction (cell death) occurs at the junction of gray matter and white matter. Frontal lobe is usually involved. Regarding the mild cerebro-cerebellar atrophy, this may be related to the age. But give special attention to the Mastoiditis finding which may become a life-threatening condition if left untreated.



Comments / Follow Ups

Doctor Says: Thank you for the question Guest User. We are here to help you.

I will explain 3 distinct questions here:
What small vessel ischemia is?
What a stroke is?
And how small vessel ischemia causes stroke?

Small vessel ichemia seen in an MRI is simply saying that the small blood vessels or the arteries are blocked. There can be several reasons for a block but most of the time, these are cholesterol deposition or a clot.

A stroke is the reduction of blood flow to the brain or a stop in the blood flow. Thus, a person may have a blackout or some symptoms like seizure and in the worst case scenario, the person goes into a coma, which is very rare.

Ischemia and decreased blood flow in the brain causes the brain cells to start to die. This is so rapid that in 4 minutes of lack of oxygen, the person can die. The brain cells will start to die in a few seconds of the ischemia. And the symptoms will start to develop. This is how you can get stroke and get the problem that you are facing.

See a Doctor about this as soon as possible. This is also true if you are anyone you know or suspect has Ischemia of blood vessels in the brain.

All the best.

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