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Review: silent brain infarcts are common in the elderly general population

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Dr S E Vermeer

Correspondence to: Dr S E Vermeer, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands;


What are the frequency, risk factors, and consequences of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-defined silent brain infarcts?


Selected studies were original MRI studies of silent brain infarcts (ie, infarcts without overt stroke-like symptoms) in adults. For risk factor assessment, only population-based studies were included. Autopsy and computed tomography studies were excluded.

Outcomes were frequency, risk factors, and consequences of silent brain infarcts.


PubMed (1966 to November 2006) and reference lists of relevant studies were searched for English-language studies. 105 articles met the selection criteria, including 24 reports on risk factors (21 cross-sectional and 3 longitudinal, n = 128–3397, mean age range 59–75 y) from 8 population-based …

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  • Source of funding: no external funding.