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To find out the frequency of cerebral white matter lesions (WML) in elderly individuals with no
This descriptive study was carried out at Radiology Department, Military Hospital,
Rawalpindi; January to December 2003. One hundred asymptomatic patients of either gender, aged 50
years and more without a known systemic disease were selected and divided into two groups of age 50-65
years and more than 65 years and MRI brain was performed. WML when found were classified as
subcortical and periventricular hyperintensities and rated for both hemispheres simultaneously along with
regional distribution of the WML. Frequency of each type of WML was assessed in the sample.
Relationship with age and gender of patients was also sought.
Subcortical WML were present in 54% (n=54) of subjects. Periventricular WML were found in
19% (n=19) of study population. Both subcortical and periventricular WML were more frequently observed
in more than 65 years age group. However findings were not statistically significant (p-values = 0.8333 &
0.3646 respectively). Periventricular white matter lesions were observed more commonly in males with
statistically significant distribution (p-value = 0.0018). Subcortical WML were also more frequently
observed in males. However the distribution was statistically insignificant (p-value =0.1566). Distribution
of subcortical WML was most frequent in frontal lobes (62.9%) followed by parieto-occipital regions
WML are a frequent finding on MRI brain of asymptomatic elderly individuals of either
gender with periventricular WML having a statistically significant preponderance in males.
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