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05.11.2019 | Original Article | Ausgabe 2/2020

Neurological Sciences 2/2020

Concomitant diabetes or hypertension with metabolic syndrome on the extent of intracranial atherosclerotic stenosis

Neurological Sciences > Ausgabe 2/2020
Jong-Ho Park, Byoung Seok Kim, Bruce Ovbiagele
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The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s10072-019-04105-w) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Intracranial atherosclerotic stenosis (ICAS) is a major cause of ischemic stroke, especially in Asia. Assessing relationships between novel risk factors and ICAS could lead strategies for improving outcomes. We aimed to evaluate the link between severity of metabolic syndrome (MetS) and extent of ICAS (≥ 50% stenosis).


We conducted a cross-sectional study of consecutive Korean patients with acute ischemic stroke, admitted from March 2009 through May 2013, who underwent brain MRI/MRA. Patients were stratified into hypertension only, diabetes mellitus (DM), MetS only, MetS and hypertension, MetS and DM, and neither. MetS was defined using the harmonized criteria.


Of 1220 patients (mean age, 68.2 ± 12.7; female, 42.6%), 238 had hypertension only, 67 DM, 48 MetS only, 311 MetS and hypertension, 403 MetS and DM (88.3% having concomitant hypertension), and 153 neither. Patients with MetS and DM had higher prevalence of ICAS and more ICAS lesions vs. those with neither (all P < 0.001). Compared with neither condition (1.3 ± 0.8), extent of MetS component were greater by increasing MetS severity category (1.7 ± 0.5, 1.8 ± 0.4, 3.3 ± 0.5, 3.4 ± 0.6, and 3.9 ± 0.7, P < 0.001). Odds of ICAS (OR 3.40, 95% CI, 1.82–6.36), ICAS (≥ 2) (4.65, 2.15–10.05), and ICAS (≥ 3) (2.82, 1.02–7.82) remained independently higher in patients with MetS and DM. DM, MetS only, or MetS and hypertension trended towards higher ICAS lesions.


MetS and DM along with hypertension is associated with more extensive ICAS than MetS and hypertension or MetS only. Patients with MetS at high risk of hypertension and DM may benefit from therapeutic lifestyle changes to prevent stroke risk.

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