Background: Patients undergoing cardiac surgery have a high frequency of preexisting cerebral ischemic lesions, the presence of which appears to predict cognitive sequelae. Patients undergoing aortic valve replacement for aortic stenosis (AS) incur an exceptionally high risk for perioperative cerebral ischemia. The extreme risk in this subgroup may arise from the preexisting burden of cerebral ischemic disease. We tested the hypotheses that increasing age, female sex, coronary artery disease, and the severity of AS are predictive of the severity of preexisting cerebral ischemic lesions. Methods: A total of 95 subjects were included in this study. Subjects were imaged on 1.5 Tesla magnetic resonance imaging scanners to obtain multimodal image sets which were used for the automatic segmentation of cerebral lesion volume. The dependence of lesion volume upon age, sex, coronary artery disease, and the severity of AS were tested. Results: The results demonstrate a strong correlation between aging, female sex, and white matter and ischemia-like lesion volume in patients with aortic stenosis. Conclusions: Women and those of advanced age presenting for aortic valve replacement for AS may incur a particularly high risk for postoperative neurologic sequelae due to an exceptional preexisting burden of cerebral ischemic disease.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine