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White Matter Hyperintensity as a Factor Associated with Delayed Mood Disorders in Patients with Acute Ischemic Stroke

Kim J.-T.a · Park M.-S.a, b · Yoon G.-J.a · Jung H.-J.a · Choi K.-H.a · Nam T.-S.a, b · Lee S.-H.a, b · Choi S.-M.a, b · Kim B.-C.a · Kim M.-K.a · Cho K.-H.a
aDepartment of Neurology, Cerebrovascular Center, Chonnam National University Hospital, Gwangju, and bDepartment of Neurology, Chonnam National University Hwasun Hospital, Hwasun, Jeonnam, Korea Eur Neurol 2011;66:343–349 (DOI:10.1159/000332585)


Background: Mood disorder is a frequent complication of stroke. Comorbid depressive and anxiety disorders are very common, indicating that it is advisable to assess both disorders at the same time. The aim of the present study was to examine the prevalence of post-stroke depression (PSD) and poststroke anxiety (PSA) at baseline and to evaluate factors related to delayed PSD and PSA at 3 months after stroke onset. Methods: This was a prospectively registered and retrospectively analyzed study of patients with acute ischemic stroke between January 2009 and March 2010. Patients included in this study were interviewed in order to evaluate their Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) scores. In this study, each depression and anxiety score was dichotomized into ‘nondepressive and nonanxious’ (HADS-D and HADS-A ≤7) and ‘depressive and anxious’ (HADS-D and HADS-A >7). Multiple logistic regression analysis was used to evaluate the independent factors of depressive and anxious symptoms 3 months after stroke onset. Results: Of the 133 patients, 47.4% were ‘depressive’ and 56.4% were ‘anxious’ at baseline. The depressive and anxious groups had a significantly higher frequency of severe white matter hyperintensity (WMH) than the nondepressive and nonanxious groups (p < 0.05). The independent factors of PSD and PSA at 3 months were deep white matter hyperintensities (DWMH) and modified Rankin scale 0 to 1 at 3 months. Conclusion: In conclusions, the results of our study demonstrated that delayed depression and anxiety after ischemic stroke were related to the severity of DWMH and unfavorable outcomes at 3 months, regardless of anti-anxiety treatment. Our results suggested that WMH might be associated with pathomechanism of delayed depression and anxiety.


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