Subcortical arteriosclerotic encephalopathy
Citation, DOI, disclosures and article data
At the time the article was created Mai-Lan Ho had no recorded disclosures.View Mai-Lan Ho's current disclosures
Subcortical arteriosclerotic encephalopathy, also known as Binswanger disease or small vessel dementia, refers to slowly progressive, nonhereditary, exclusively white-matter vascular dementia.
Patients usually present with subcortical dementia symptoms including forgetfulness, personality and emotional changes.
Clinical criteria for the diagnosis are as follows:
marked subcortical microangiopathic lesions at MR imaging
negative family history of strokes, early cognitive impairment, or psychiatric disorders in first- and second-degree relatives
documented arterial hypertension: systolic values higher than 160 mmHg, diastolic values higher than 95 mmHg, or both, measured on several occasions 5
Pathologically, relatively symmetrical and diffuse bilateral deep periventricular white matter lesions are associated with severe arteriosclerosis of the small penetrating arteries which are thickened, lipohyalinised, stenotic, or even occluded. In most patients, multiple lacunar infarcts are also present in the basal ganglia, thalami, and pons 3.
Diffuse, incompletely symmetrical hypodensities are present in deep white matter, especially prominent in the frontal lobes and centrum semiovale 3.
MRI changes are much more striking, consisting of subcortical and periventricular hyperintense lesions visible on FLAIR, T2-weighted, and proton-density sequences. Subcortical U-fibers are usually spared 6.
The white matter lesions are usually small, commonly grouped around the frontal and occipital horns and in the centrum semiovale.
Moderate diffuse cerebral atrophy is invariably present, and lacunar infarcts in the basal ganglia and thalami are common 3.
History and etymology
It was first described in 1894 by Otto Ludwig Binswanger (1852-1929), a Swiss psychiatrist and neurologist 4.
CADASIL (cerebral autosomal dominant arteriopathy with subcortical infarcts and leukoencephalopathy)
phenotypically similar white matter disease but hereditary/genetically defined
more likely to involve anterior temporal and superior frontal lobes and arcuate fibers
have more pronounced low signal intensity of the basal ganglia and dentate nuclei 5
also present subcortical U-fibers sparing
- 1. Yousem DM, Zimmerman RD, Grossman RI. Neuroradiology, The Requisites. Elsevier Health Sciences. (2010) ISBN:0323045219. Read it at Google Books - Find it at Amazon
- 2. Lotz PR, Ballinger WE, Quisling RG. Subcortical arteriosclerotic encephalopathy: CT spectrum and pathologic correlation. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 1986;147 (6): 1209-14. AJR Am J Roentgenol (abstract) - Pubmed citation
- 3. Haaga JR, Boll D. CT and MRI of the whole body. Mosby. (2009) ISBN:0323053750. Read it at Google Books - Find it at Amazon
- 4. OLSZEWSKI J. Subcortical arteriosclerotic encephalopathy. Review of the literature on the so-called Binswanger's disease and presentation of two cases. World Neurol. 1998;3: 359-75. Pubmed citation
- 5. Auer DP, Pütz B, Gössl C et-al. Differential lesion patterns in CADASIL and sporadic subcortical arteriosclerotic encephalopathy: MR imaging study with statistical parametric group comparison. Radiology. 2001;218 (2): 443-51. doi:10.1148/radiology.218.2.r01fe24443 - Pubmed citation
- 6. Révész T, Hawkins C, du Boulay E, Barnard R, McDonald W. Pathological Findings Correlated with Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Subcortical Arteriosclerotic Encephalopathy (Binswanger's Disease). J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 1989;52(12):1337-44. doi:10.1136/jnnp.52.12.1337 - Pubmed