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Neural Plasticity
Volume 2017, Article ID 8738714, 7 pages
Research Article

Impairments in Brain Perfusion, Metabolites, Functional Connectivity, and Cognition in Severe Asymptomatic Carotid Stenosis Patients: An Integrated MRI Study

1Department of Neurology, Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University, Wuhan, China
2Department of Radiology, Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University, Wuhan, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Junjian Zhang; moc.361@xkjsdw and Haibo Xu; moc.liamtoh@0211obiahux

Received 23 September 2016; Revised 15 November 2016; Accepted 7 December 2016; Published 1 February 2017

Academic Editor: Lijun Bai

Copyright © 2017 Tao Wang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Carotid artery stenosis without transient ischemic attack (TIA) or stroke is considered as “asymptomatic.” However, recent studies have demonstrated that these asymptomatic carotid artery stenosis (aCAS) patients had cognitive impairment in tests of executive function, psychomotor speed, and memory, indicating that “asymptomatic” carotid stenosis may not be truly asymptomatic. In this study, when 19 aCAS patients compared with 24 healthy controls, aCAS patients showed significantly poorer performance on global cognition, memory, and executive function. By utilizing an integrated MRI including pulsed arterial spin labeling (pASL) MRI, Proton MR Spectroscopy (MRS), and resting-state functional MRI (R-fMRI), we also found that aCAS patients suffered decreased cerebral blood flow (CBF) mainly in the Left Frontal Gyrus and had decreased NAA/Cr ratio in the left hippocampus and decreased connectivity to the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) in the anterior part of default mode network (DMN).