DOI: 10.1177/23969873231193237 ISSN:

Small vessel disease burden and risk of recurrent cerebrovascular events in patients with lacunar stroke and intracerebral haemorrhage attributable to deep perforator arteriolopathy

Martina B Goeldlin, Jan Vynckier, Madlaine Mueller, Boudewijn Drop, Basel Maamari, Noah Vonlanthen, Bernhard M Siepen, Arsany Hakim, Johannes Kaesmacher, Christopher Marvin Jesse, Mandy D Mueller, Thomas R Meinel, Morin Beyeler, Leander Clénin, Jan Gralla, Werner Z’Graggen, David Bervini, Marcel Arnold, Urs Fischer, David J Seiffge
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Neurology (clinical)


Deep perforator arteriolopathy (DPA) causes intracerebral haemorrhage (ICH) and lacunar strokes (LS). We compare patient characteristics, MRI findings and clinical outcomes among patients with deep ICH and LS.

Patients and methods:

We included patients with MRI-confirmed LS or ICH in the basal ganglia, thalamus, internal capsule or brainstem from the Bernese Stroke Registry. We assessed MRI small vessel disease (SVD) markers, SVD burden score, modified Rankin Scale (mRS) and ischaemic stroke or ICH at 3 months.


We included 716 patients, 117 patients (16.3%) with deep ICH (mean age (SD) 65.1 (±15.2) years, 37.1% female) and 599 patients (83.7%) with LS (mean age (SD) 69.7 (±13.6) years, 39.9% female). Compared to LS, deep ICH was associated with a higher SVD burden score (median (IQR) 2 (1–2) vs 1 (0–2)), aORshift 3.19, 95%CI 2.15–4.75). Deep ICH patients had more often cerebral microbleeds (deep ICH: 71.6% vs LS: 29.2%, p < 0.001, median count (IQR) 4(2–12) vs 2(1–6)) and a higher prevalence of lacunes (deep ICH: 60.5% vs LS: 27.4% p < 0.001). At 3 months, deep ICH was associated with higher mRS (aORshift 2.16, 95%CI 1.21–3.87). Occurrence of ischaemic stroke was numerically but not significantly higher in deep ICH (4.3% vs 2.9%; p = 0.51). One patient (1.1%) with ICH but none with LS suffered ICH recurrence.


DPA manifesting as ICH is associated with more severe MRI SVD burden and worse outcome compared to LS. The short-term risks of subsequent ischaemic stroke and recurrent ICH are similar in ICH and LS patients. This implies potential consequences for future secondary prevention strategies.

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