We use MRI scans in everyday practice to diagnose disease of the small blood vessels in the brain (cerebral small vessel disease, SVD). It gives good pictures of consequences of the disease such as small (lacunar) strokes. However current MRI machines do not allow us to see the individual small blood vessels which are affected in the disease, and are less than 1 mm in diameter. A new MRI machine which contains a much stronger magnet (7 Tesla) is able to give pictures of the brain in much greater detail.
Using this 7T MRI it is possible, for the first time, to see the individual small blood vessels in the brain which are affected in SVD. Previously it has only been possible to study these vessels in post mortem tissue taken after a person has died.
The CamSVD study is recruiting patients who have had a small lacunar stroke due to SVD and carrying out 7T MRI on the Addenbrooke’s site in the Wolfson Brain Imaging Unit (WBIC). We carry out a 45-60 minute scan and use this information to better understand how SVD causes stroke. For example one of the things we are looking at is whether there are narrowings in that blood vessels that reduce the blood supply and therefore result in the stroke.
The CamSVD Study is funded by the British Heart Foundation