ZocdocAnswersWhy do I have chronic microvascular ischemia?

Question

Why do I have chronic microvascular ischemia?

I am 54 , eat healthy, no diabetes, HTN , or high cholesterol , exercise 4 days a week. I was never told by Dr and found out by accident by reading MRI report, what could it be?

Answer

This is a good question to ask your primary care doctor. Chronic microvascular ischemia is a nonspecific finding that is commonly picked up on MRI scans of the brains. Essentially what it means is that blood flow to certain areas of the brain are slightly reduced. This tends to occur as we age, as the arteries that carry blood to our brains (and elsewhere in our bodies) narrow and harden. You are absolutely correct that there is an association between a deterioration in the health of the arteries and chronic medical problems like diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol levels. However, because of age-related and genetic factors, there may still be some arterial degeneration even in the absence of these problems. Most people with mild chronic microvascular ischemia do not have any symptoms as a result, although it should highlight the need to stay healthy and prevent the emergence of medical problems like diabetes. I would suggest that you discuss this finding in more detail with your primary care doctor to see if they have any more thoughts. In particular, it is important to make sure that this finding is not related in any way to the symptoms you were having that led to the MRI in the first place.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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