August 2023

The paper Atrial fibrillation hemodynamic effects on lenticulostriate arteries identified at 7-Tesla cerebral MRI, by A. Saglietto, S. Scarsoglio, F. Tripoli, J. J. M. Zwanenburg, G. J. Biessels, G. M. De Ferrari, L. Ridolfi, and M. Anselmino has been accepted for publication in Clinical and Translational Medicine.



Over the past 20 years, atrial fibrillation (AF), the most common tachyarrhythmia, has been associated to an increased risk of cognitive decline/dementia, which appears to be independent from overt clinical cerebrovascular events1. In particular, AF patients often present multiple, apparently silent cerebral lesions, which relate to reduced cognitive function. These “silent” lesions are frequently found at the subcortical level and belong to the cerebral small vessel disease (SVD) spectrum (lacunar infarctions, white matter lesions and microbleeds), thus a cardioembolic genesis for these lesions is unlikely. One of the main vascular supplies to subcortical and white matter areas is provided by lenticulostriate arteries (LSAs), small arteries perpendicularly departing from anterior (ACA) and middle (MCA) cerebral arteries. We hypothesize that AF, by its “irregularly irregular” rhythm, may exert direct detrimental beat-to-beat hemodynamic effects at LSA level. To explore this hypothesis, we performed a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis simulating AF and sinus rhythm (SR) on LSA segmentations derived by 7T high-resolution cerebral magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

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