Prevalence of and Risk Factors for Cerebral Microbleeds in Moyamoya Disease and Syndrome in the American Population

Nadeem I. Khan, Ali A. Saherwala, Mo Chen, Sepand Salehian, Hisham Salahuddin, Babu G. Welch, Marco C. Pinho, Ty Shang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background and Purpose: Cerebral microbleeds (CMB) are reported to be frequent in moyamoya disease (MMD) and moyamoya syndrome (MMS) in the Asian population. It is associated with an increased risk of intracerebral hemorrhage. The significance of CMB in MMD/MMS in non-Asian populations has not been well established. Our study aimed to investigate the prevalence of CMB in MMD/MMS in a moymoya cohort with a majority of non-Asians and to identify risk factors for developing a CMB and its predictive value for subsequent vascular events. Methods: The moyamoya database was compiled by screening for MMD/MMS among patients admitted to the Zale-Lipshy University Hospital at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. We identified and analyzed data of 67 patients with MMD or MMS. Patients were characterized as CMB+ or CMB-based on MRI findings. In CMB+ patients, the total number and location of CMB were identified. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression were used to identify risk factors for developing CMB and whether CMB are associated with the development of subsequent vascular events. Results: Out of a total of 67 patients, 11 (16%) had CMB. Males had significantly higher odds of having CMB as compared to females (OR 1.76; 95% CI 1.40-24.3, p = 0.021). The incidence of CMB was also associated with age at diagnosis (mean age of CMB+ patients vs. CMB-patients: 44 vs. 34 years, respectively, p = 0.024), smoking (p = 0.006), and hemorrhagic stroke at presentation (p = 0.034). Logistic regression with multivariate analysis found that gender and age at diagnosis remained statistically significant. New ischemic events occurred in 2 (20%) out of 10 CMB+ patients and 13 (23%) out of 55 CMB-patients, respectively (p = 0.79). While 2 (3%) CMB-patients had a new cerebral hemorrhage during follow-up, none of the CMB+ patients did. Conclusions: CMB are less prevalent in MMD/MMS in the USA than in Asia. An older age at diagnosis and male gender were associated with CMB. The presence of CMB was not associated with an increased risk of a subsequent ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)139-147
Number of pages9
JournalCerebrovascular Diseases Extra
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2019


  • Cerebral microbleeds
  • Moyamoya syndrome
  • Population studies
  • Stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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