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"What are microvascular ischemic changes?"

ZocdocAnswersWhat are microvascular ischemic changes?


My husband had to get an MRI because of chronic problems he has had, and the hospital report says that he has ""microvascular ischemic changes"". The hospital never discussed this with us. What does that phrase mean, and what should we be doing to take care of it?


Although it is not clearly stated in the question, if the MRI was done of your husband's brain, then the microvascular ischemic changes that were described by the radiologist are related to small areas of infarct in the very small perforating vessels in the deeper parts of the brain (the white matter). This can be seen in relation to a variety of different diseases including diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol. White matter changes can also be seen in infectious processes as well as in multiple sclerosis. From the short description, it is unclear what types of chronic problems your husband is having and where these microvascular ischemic changes are found on the MRI, so it is difficult to know what significance these have in terms of his chronic problems. It would be advisable though to have your husband be evaluated by a neurologist who can examine the MRI image and evaluate your husbands medical history as well as his presenting symptoms so that an appropriate work up and possible treatment regimen may be started. In terms of doing something to take care of it, as was discussed earlier, these changes affect the smallest vessels in the brain and cause the areas that they supply to infarct, and so there is little that can be done to undo these changes.

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