Is unrecognized myocardial infarction associated with cerebral infarction?
In a population-based sample, we found an association between unrecognized myocardial infarction detected by cardiac magnetic resonance imaging and cerebral infarction.
Unrecognized myocardial infarction may be a novel risk factor for cerebral infarction.
It is uncertain whether unrecognized myocardial infarction (MI) is a risk factor for cerebral infarction.
To determine whether unrecognized MI detected by cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is associated with cerebral infarction.
Design, Setting, and Participants
This is a cross-sectional study of ICELAND MI, a cohort substudy of the Age, Gene/Environment Susceptibility–Reykjavik Study conducted in Iceland. Enrollment occurred from January 2004 to January 2007 from a community-dwelling cohort of older Icelandic individuals. Participants aged 67 to 93 years who underwent both brain MRI and late gadolinium enhancement cardiac MRI were included. Data analysis was performed from September 2018 to March 2019.
Unrecognized MI identified by cardiac MRI.
Main Outcomes and Measures
Unrecognized MI was defined as cardiac MRI evidence of MI without a history of clinically evident MI. Recognized MI was defined as cardiac MRI evidence of MI with a history of clinically evident MI. Cerebral infarctions on brain MRI were included regardless of associated symptoms. Multiple logistic regression was used to evaluate the association between MI status (no MI, unrecognized MI, or recognized MI) and cerebral infarction after adjustment for demographic factors and vascular risk factors. In addition, we evaluated the association between unrecognized MI and embolic infarcts of undetermined source.
Five enrolled participants had nondiagnostic brain MRI studies and were excluded. Among 925 participants, 480 (51.9%) were women; the mean (SD) age was 75.9 (5.3) years. There were 221 participants (23.9%) with cardiac MRI evidence of MI, of whom 68 had recognized MI and 153 unrecognized MI. There were 308 participants (33.3%) with brain MRI evidence of cerebral infarction; 93 (10.0%) had embolic infarcts of undetermined source. After adjustment for demographic factors and vascular risk factors, the likelihood (odds ratio) of having cerebral infarction was 2.0 (95% CI, 1.2-3.4; P = .01) for recognized MI and 1.5 (95% CI, 1.02-2.2; P = .04) for unrecognized MI. After adjustment for demographics and vascular risk factors, unrecognized MI was also associated with embolic infarcts of undetermined source (odds ratio, 2.0 [95% CI, 1.1-3.5]; P = .02).
Conclusions and Relevance
In a population-based sample, we found an association between unrecognized MI and cerebral infarction. These findings suggest that unrecognized MI may be a novel risk factor for cardiac embolism and cerebral infarction.
Merkler AE, Sigurdsson S, Eiriksdottir G, et al. Association Between Unrecognized Myocardial Infarction and Cerebral Infarction on Magnetic Resonance Imaging. JAMA Neurol. Published online May 20, 201976(8):956–961. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2019.1226
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