Brain arterial dilatation modifies the association between extracranial pulsatile hemodynamics and brain perivascular spaces: the Northern Manhattan Study

Jose Gutierrez, Marco DiTullio, Ying Kuen K Cheung, Noam Alperin, Ahmet Bagci, Ralph L Sacco, Clinton B Wright, Mitchell SV Elkind, Tatjana Rundek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Pulsatile hemodynamics are associated with brain small perivascular spaces (SPVS). It is unknown whether the stiffness of intermediary arteries connecting the aorta and brain modifies this association. Participants from the Northern Manhattan Study were assessed for SPVS (defined as ≤3 mm T1 voids) and white matter hyperintensity volume (WMH) using MRI. Middle (MCA) and anterior cerebral arterial (ACA) diameters (measured on time-of-flight MRA) and CCA strain (assessed by ultrasound) were used as surrogates of stiffness. Brachial and aortic pulse pressure (PP) and aortic augmentation index (Aix, assessed by applanation tonometry) were used as markers of pulsatility. We tested whether stiffness in intermediary arteries modifies the association between extracranial pulsatility with SPVS and WMH. We found that among 941 participants (mean age 71 ± 9 years, 60% women, 66% Hispanic), the right MCA/ACA diameter was associated with right anterior SPVS (B = 0.177, P = 0.002). Brachial PP was associated with right anterior SPVS (B = 0.003, P = 0.02), and the effect size was bigger with right MCA/ACA diameter in the upper tertile (P = 0.001 for the interaction). The association between right CCA strain and ipsilateral SPVS was modified by MCA/ACA diameter, with the largest effect size in those with ipsilateral MCA/ACA diameter in the upper tertile (P = 0.001 for the interaction). Similar dose-effects and statistical interactions were replicated using aortic AIx or aortic PP. We found no evidence of effect modification between pulsatile measures and WMH by stiffness measures. In summary, pulsatile hemodynamics relate to brain SPVS, and the association is the strongest among individuals with dilated brain arteries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalHypertension Research
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019



  • Brain arterial dilatation
  • Dolichoectasia
  • Perivascular spaces
  • Pulse pressure
  • Stiffness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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