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Old 05-21-2007, 03:18 PM   #1
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What is Small Vessel Disease

I went to the emergency room 3 weeks ago with numbness that started in the morning in both arms. That lasted a couple hours. It came back that night only in my left arm. Being a recipient of 5 cardiac stents, I immediately thought about heart problems. I went to emergency and they admitted me. They were testing usual heart related areas. I then realized some of the tests were for stroke. They mentioned TIA's (mini stroke), but they are very hard to diagnose. I was referred to my cardiologist and and gp. Cardiologist didn't believe it was heart related, but, ordered an ultrasound of my carotids. They showed minimal blockage. GP ordered an MRI to check on TIA and the tingling and numbness, not mentioning anything on the order about MS, even though I told him about other things that were going on since the stay in the hospital. I had eye pain, shaking, tingling on the back of my neck, blurriness in my eyes, fatigue. All of these are off and on. I also told the GP about a strong family history of MS.

I received the results of the MRI today. The radiologist confirmed white matter in different parts of the brain, possibly reflective of small vessel disease.

I've been looking for some info on small vessel disease. I can't find much, but, it looks like it effects the elderly, diabetics, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. I am none of those, I'm 46. Even with the heart problems, I haven't had high cholesterol in years. It is now at 154 for total cholesterol.

I'm wondering if anyone else has heard of small vessel disease. My GP did refer me to a neuro, which, I'm getting in to see. I'm also seeing an opthamologist in a couple of days. I'm not convinced by a radiologist's reading of an MRI.

 
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Old 05-21-2007, 03:33 PM   #2
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Re: What is Small Vessel Disease

Quote:
Originally Posted by Familyhistory View Post
I went to the emergency room 3 weeks ago with numbness that started in the morning in both arms. That lasted a couple hours. It came back that night only in my left arm. Being a recipient of 5 cardiac stents, I immediately thought about heart problems. I went to emergency and they admitted me. They were testing usual heart related areas. I then realized some of the tests were for stroke. They mentioned TIA's (mini stroke), but they are very hard to diagnose. I was referred to my cardiologist and and gp. Cardiologist didn't believe it was heart related, but, ordered an ultrasound of my carotids. They showed minimal blockage. GP ordered an MRI to check on TIA and the tingling and numbness, not mentioning anything on the order about MS, even though I told him about other things that were going on since the stay in the hospital. I had eye pain, shaking, tingling on the back of my neck, blurriness in my eyes, fatigue. All of these are off and on. I also told the GP about a strong family history of MS.

I received the results of the MRI today. The radiologist confirmed white matter in different parts of the brain, possibly reflective of small vessel disease.

I've been looking for some info on small vessel disease. I can't find much, but, it looks like it effects the elderly, diabetics, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. I am none of those, I'm 46. Even with the heart problems, I haven't had high cholesterol in years. It is now at 154 for total cholesterol.

I'm wondering if anyone else has heard of small vessel disease. My GP did refer me to a neuro, which, I'm getting in to see. I'm also seeing an opthamologist in a couple of days. I'm not convinced by a radiologist's reading of an MRI.


Hi Family,

I'm not a doctor, but my father who recently passed away, had a history of heart disease and also experienced several strokes. From what I understand the small vessel disease is due to many factors, but probably in your case it is a disorder of the arterial muscles. The contracting and constriction of the walls block blood flow to the brain, thereby cause TIA's (mini strokes). The fact that you have white matter might be indicative of plaques or scar tissue formed from these events. The neuro should be able to explain this to you further, but cardiac disease is so complicated many factors can play a role in your symptoms. It could even be a hormonal contributor. Until you have more testing done you probably can't pinpoint exactly why you have experienced this. I think it was really great that your doctor took control of the situation and admitted you into the hospital for further observation.

So sorry you had to go through such a scary situation, and hope that you find answers soon!

 
Old 05-21-2007, 04:13 PM   #3
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Re: What is Small Vessel Disease

Thanks Bella, I know the heart disease may have something to do with it. It's just that the little bit of info I've found on small vessel disease doesn't put me in the at-risk classification. I know I've just got to wait for the tests to get done, I'm just anxious and a bit concerned. I think I'd rather have a bad diagnosis than none at all.

 
Old 03-03-2009, 01:48 PM   #4
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lymphpre HB User
Re: What is Small Vessel Disease

Sorry to bring this old post back up, but did you get a diagnosis in the end? I ask because I am in a similar position of being early 40s, lacking in risk factors, yet having white matter lesions on MRI that radiologist considers indicative of small vessel disease. My symptoms have been headaches, profuse sweating and light-headedness. I am not convinced by this explanation either, and it looks like a lumbar puncture is next on the agenda.

 
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