Background and Objectives: Cerebral perivascular spaces (PVS) are part of the cerebral microvascular structure and play a role in lymphatic drainage and the removal of waste products from the brain. White matter hyperintensities (WMH) are hyperintense lesions on magnetic resonance imaging that are associated with cognitive impairment, dementia, and cerebral vascular disease. WMH and PVS are direct and indirect imaging biomarkers of cerebral microvascular integrity and health. In our research, we evaluated WMH and PVS enlargement in patients with normal cognition (NC), mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and dementia (D). Materials and Methods: In total, 57 participants were included in the study and divided into groups based on neurological evaluation and Montreal Cognitive Assessment results (NC group 16 participants, MCI group 29 participants, D group 12 participants). All participants underwent 3T magnetic resonance imaging. PVS were evaluated in the basal ganglia, centrum semiovale, and midbrain. WMHs were evaluated based on the Fazekas scale and the division between deep white matter (DWM) and periventricular white matter (PVWM). The combined score based on PVS and WMH was evaluated and correlated with the results of the MoCA. Results: We found statistically significant differences between groups on several measures. Centrum semiovale PVS dilatation was more severe in MCI and dementia group and statistically significant differences were found between D-MCI and D-NC pairs. PVWM was more severe in patients with MCI and dementia group, and statistically significant differences were found between D-MCI and D-NC pairs. Furthermore, we found statistically significant differences between the groups by analyzing the combined score of PVS dilatation and WMH. We did not find statistically significant differences between the groups in PVS dilation of the basal ganglia and midbrain and DWM hyperintensities. Conclusions: PVS assessment could become one of neuroimaging biomarkers for patients with cognitive decline. Furthermore, the combined score of WMH and PVS dilatation could facilitate diagnostics of cognitive impairment, but more research is needed with a larger cohort to determine the use of PVS dilatation and the combined score.
- cognitive impairment
- perivascular spaces
- white matter hyperintensities
Field of Science*
- 3.2 Clinical medicine
- 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database