Microvascular Ischemic Disease: Symptoms and Treatment?


Microvascular Ischemic Disease: Symptoms and Treatment?

Microvascular ischemic disease refers to disorders impacting the small blood vessels within the brain, encompassing conditions such as stroke, cerebral haemorrhage, and dementia. Microvascular ischemic brain disease risk factors include age, diabetes and high blood pressure. Notably, chronic ischemic microvascular disease can manifest in other organs, such as the heart, kidneys, or eyes.

This article offers more knowledge about microvascular ischemic brain disease, covering its symptoms, risks, microvascular ischemic disease causes, and potential treatments.

What is Microvascular Ischemic Disease?

Doctors use the name microvascular ischemic disease to describe alterations in the walls of small blood vessels within a body organ. Conditions impacting these vessels can harm the white substance in the brain, which houses nerve fibres transmitting signals between various brain regions.

Microvascular ischemic brain disease is considered a ‘silent’ condition, meaning most individuals with it don't feel noticeable signs. However, health experts can identify signs through microvascular ischemic disease MRI scans. The ICD-10 code for microvascular ischemic disease, specifically chronic cerebral ischemia, is I67.82. The microvascular ischemic disease ICD 10 falls under the broader categories of diseases of the circulatory system.

This condition is prevalent among older adults and, if untreated, can contribute to cognitive decline, dementia, stroke, and difficulties with walking. Depending on the severity of these changes, complications can range from difficulty focusing to experiencing a stroke.

This condition goes by several names, including:

  • Cerebral small vessel disease (CSVD)
  • Chronic microvascular ischemic disease
  • Small vessel ischemic disease.

Symptoms and Causes of Microvascular Ischemic Disease

Microvascular ischemic disease in the brain ranges from low to severe. In many older adults, particularly those with a mild form, there may be no noticeable symptoms despite areas of damage in the brain, referred to as ‘silent’ disease.

Even without apparent symptoms, subtle changes in thinking and physical abilities may occur.

In more severe cases of small vessel disease, symptoms can include:

  • Cognitive impairment (loss of thinking skills)
  • Issues with walking and balance
  • Depression.

If small vessel disease leads to a stroke, symptoms may involve:

  • Numbness, especially on body’s one side
  • Sudden confusion
  • Vision loss in one or both eyes
  • Difficulty speaking or understanding
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of coordination
  • Sudden, extreme headache. 

It's crucial to recognise that a stroke is a medical emergency requiring immediate attention and treatment.

Factors leading to Microvascular Ischemic Disease

Age plays a significant role in the risk of chronic ischemic microvascular disease. Some studies show that only 5% of individuals aged 50 are affected, whereas nearly 100% of those over 90 experience this condition.

Certain factors contributing to the risk of microvascular ischemic brain disease include:

  • Diabetes
  • Inflammation of blood vessels owing to infection or an active immune system
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Exposure to radiation
  • Smoking

Although the precise cause of chronic ischemic microvascular disease is not entirely understood, various factors can impact the blood vessels in the brain. For example, fatty tissue, plaque, or scar tissue build-up inside arteries can wholly or partially obstruct blood flow to the brain. Inadequate blood flow may lead to insufficient oxygen in some regions of the brain tissue, resulting in damaged tissue or an ischemic stroke.

>> Also Read: High Cholesterol Warning Signs

How is Microvascular Ischemic Disease Diagnosed?

Healthcare providers use magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to diagnose microvascular ischemic disease. MRI and the diagnostic process are painless imaging tests that generate clear brain images using a combination of a large magnet, radio waves, and a computer. Microvascular ischemic disease leads to various changes in the brain.

When examining your microvascular ischemic disease MRI images, healthcare providers may specifically look for distinct structural indicators, including:

  • Bleeding in the small blood vessels of the brain (cerebral microbleeds)
  • Damage to the white matter, appearing as bright-white spots on the scan (white matter hyperintensities)
  • Small strokes that might not manifest as neurological symptoms (lacunar infarcts).

Treatment of Microvascular Ischemic Disease

Microvascular ischemic brain disease impacts tiny blood vessels with a diameter of fewer than 0.5 millimetres, making it challenging to detect and address through surgical procedures.

As outlined in some findings, treatment options involve lifestyle adjustments and medications aimed at lowering the risk of cognitive decline, stroke, and physical impairments.

Depending on an individual's risk factors, a doctor might suggest one or a combination of these microvascular ischemic disease treatment approaches:

  • Managing blood sugar levels, mainly if diabetes is present
  • Controlling cholesterol levels
  • Adopting dietary modifications and regular exercise to achieve or maintain a moderate weight
  • Avoiding smoking
  • Prescribing blood pressure medicines
  • Using antiplatelet drugs to prevent strokes.

Microvascular Ischemic Disease Life Expectancy

Findings show that patients with microvascular problems had shorter microvascular ischemic disease life expectancy as compared to individuals with a disability-free life.

Let’s Conclude

Microvascular ischemic disease in the brain may not always  show symptoms, but it can add to the development of other medical conditions, including dementia and stroke. The likelihood of experiencing microvascular ischemic diseases tends to rise with age. You can discuss strategies to mitigate this risk with your healthcare provider. Engaging in regular exercise, implementing dietary adjustments, and considering medications to manage cholesterol and blood pressure can help in living with this disease.

This disease worsens the quality of life and once detected the treatment requires immediate medical attention with quality treatment. So spending money on health insurance early on is crucial. Health insurance plans from Care Health Insurance can provide financial protection and access to necessary medical care. This way  you can address potential health challenges without facing overwhelming financial burdens.

We wish you good health.

Disclaimers: The above information is for reference purposes only: Policy Assurance and Claims at the underwriter's discretion.


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