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J Stroke. 2018 May;20(2):167-179. English. Original Article. https://doi.org/10.5853/jos.2018.00787
Tsai HH , Kim JS , Jouvent E , Gurol ME .
Department of Neurology, National Taiwan University Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan.
Department of Neurology, National Taiwan University Hospital Bei-Hu Branch, Taipei, Taiwan.
Department of Neurology, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
Department of Neurology, University Paris Diderot, Paris, France.
Department of Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA. edip@mail.harvard.edu
Abstract

Intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) and lacunar infarction (LI) are the major acute clinical manifestations of cerebral small vessel diseases (cSVDs). Hypertensive small vessel disease, cerebral amyloid angiopathy, and hereditary causes, such as Cerebral Autosomal Dominant Arteriopathy with Subcortical Infarcts and Leukoencephalopathy (CADASIL), constitute the three common cSVD categories. Diagnosing the underlying vascular pathology in these patients is important because the risk and types of recurrent strokes show significant differences. Recent advances in our understanding of the cSVD-related radiological markers have improved our ability to stratify ICH risk in individual patients, which helps guide antithrombotic decisions. There are general good-practice measures for stroke prevention in patients with cSVD, such as optimal blood pressure and glycemic control, while individualized measures tailored for particular patients are often needed. Antithrombotic combinations and anticoagulants should be avoided in cSVD treatment, as they increase the risk of potentially fatal ICH without necessarily lowering LI risk in these patients. Even when indicated for a concurrent pathology, such as nonvalvular atrial fibrillation, nonpharmacological approaches should be considered in the presence of cSVD. More data are emerging regarding the presentation, clinical course, and diagnostic markers of hereditary cSVD, allowing accurate diagnosis, and therefore, guiding management of symptomatic patients. When suspicion for asymptomatic hereditary cSVD exists, the pros and cons of prescribing genetic testing should be discussed in detail in the absence of any curative treatment. Recent data regarding diagnosis, risk stratification, and specific preventive approaches for both sporadic and hereditary cSVDs are discussed in this review article.

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