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Stroke Research and Treatment
Volume 2012, Article ID 839151, 8 pages
Review Article

Small Vessel Cerebrovascular Disease: The Past, Present, and Future

1Division of Cerebrovascular Diseases & Neurocritical Care, Department of Neurology, The Ohio State University College of Medicine, 395 West 12th Avenue, 7th Floor, Suite 766, Columbus, OH 43210, USA
2Neurovascular Stroke Center, The Ohio State University Medical Center, 395 West 12th Avenue, 7th Floor, Columbus, OH 43210, USA
3Interventional Neurology Program, Comprehensive Stroke Center, St. Mary's Medical Center, 901 45th Street, West Palm Beach, FL 33407, USA

Received 19 September 2011; Accepted 26 October 2011

Academic Editor: Chelsea S. Kidwell

Copyright © 2012 Réza Behrouz 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.


Brain infarction due to small vessel cerebrovascular disease (SVCD)—also known as small vessel infarct (SVI) or “lacunar” stroke—accounts for 20% to 25% of all ischemic strokes. Historically, SVIs have been associated with a favorable short-term prognosis. However, studies over the years have demonstrated that SVCD/SVI is perhaps a more complex and less benign phenomenon than generally presumed. The currently employed diagnostic and therapeutic strategies are based upon historical and contemporary perceptions of SVCD/SVI. What is discovered in the future will unmask the true countenance of SVCD/SVI and help furnish more accurate prognostication schemes and effective treatments for this condition. This paper is an overview of SVCD/SVI with respect to the discoveries of the past, what is known now, and what will the ongoing investigations evince in the future.