To estimate the incidence of cerebrovascular diseases in arteriosclerotic aortic aneurysm (AA) and arteriosclerosis obliterans (ASO) and their characteristics, 92 patients with AA and 102 patients with ASO were studied with carotid ultrasonography and brain computed tomography (CT), and were compared with 49 patients with hypertension. The mean ages of the patients were 70 to 72 years old and all were male. Hypertension was common in the AA group; diabetes and cigarette smoking were common in the ASO group. Carotid plaque lesions seen on ultrasonography were significantly more common in the AA (66%) and ASO (85%) groups than in the patients with hypertension (39%). The mean carotid diameter was significantly greater in the AA group than in the other two groups. The mean wall thicknesses in the AA and ASO groups were greater than in the patients with hypertension. Computed tomography showed that low-density areas were also common in the AA group (56%) and ASO (53%) groups than in the patients with hypertension (24%). Most of the low-density areas were thought to be lacunae or dilated perivascular spaces in the subinsula and putamen. Moderately and highly severe periventricular lucencies were also common in the AA group. These findings indicate that carotid changes, seen in AA and ASO, reflected the characteristics of arterial lesions, and that arteriolosclerotic lesions were common in patients with AA and ASO. Therefore, cerebrovascular diseases should be taken into account in the management of patients with AA and ASO.
Serum globulin levels in 101 centenarians (77 women, 24 men) were analyzed by zonal electrophoresis and immunoglobulin assays. Six subjects showed an M band in electrophoretograms. Five M bands were immunoglobulin G (IgG) type and one was IgA. One subject was suspected to suffer from IgG-type multiple myeloma, and the others were thought to have essential (benign) monoclonal gammopathy. The relationship between serum globulin levels and activities of daily living (ADL) was studied in remaining 95 subjects. There were 21 rank-J (free-living), 25 rank-A (unable to go outside without help), 23 rank-B (bedridden but able to sit on the bed), and 26 rank-C (completely bedridden) centenarians. The mean serum α1-, α2-, and β-globulin level in the rank-J centenarians was at the upper limit of the normal adult range. The mean α1-globulin levels in rank-B (3.3±0.4%) and C (3.4±0.5%) subjects were significantly higher than those in rank-J (2.9±0.3%) centenarians. The mean serum γ-globulin level of rank-J centenarians (16.9±3.7%) was within the normal range. The mean γ-globulin levels in rank-B (21.0±2.7%) and C (22.8±4.9%) subjects were significantly higher than that in rank-J centenarians. The mean immunoglobulin G concentrations in rank-B (1, 620±304mg/dl) and C (1, 720±392mg/dl) subjects were significantly higher than those in rank-J centenarians (1, 320±361mg/dl) and in normal adults (1, 150±235mg/dl). IgA concentrations in all centenarians were higher than in normal controls. There was no significant difference in IgA or IgM concentration between rank-J subjects and those in other ranks. Serum globulin levels measured with electrophoresis, and the immunoglobulin concentrations, can be valuable indicators of the ability to perform activities of daily living, and may be useful predictors of subclinical diseases or morbidity in centenarians.
The basal part of the interventricular septum (IVS) is known to show different hypertrophic features from those observed in the other parts of the left ventricular wall. These are considered to reflect physiological changes that occur with normal aging. However, these changes have not been carefully evaluated, and their clinical significance has not been defined. We assessed these changes echocardiographically. The subjects were patients at least 70 years of age in whom localized hypertrophy in the basal part of the IVS was seen during the whole cardiac cycle on echocardiography. The prevalence was 6.3% among 96 consecutively studied patients. All 6 patients had a history of hypertension. Echocardiographic findings were as follows: 1) the left atrium was mildly or moderately dilated, 2) there was no evidence of either dilatation or narrowing of the left ventricular cavity, 3) the left ventricular wall motion appeared normal and indices of systolic function were within normal limits in all subjects except one who had a history of myocardial infarction, 4) the angle formed by the aorta and the IVS averaged 106.7 degrees (range: 95 to 120 degrees), 5) Doppler examination showed increases in the ratio of the peak flow velocity during atrial systole to the peak flow velocity early in diastole, and 6) prolongation of the deceleration time of the flow velocity early in diastole. The last of these findings suggested left ventricular diastolic dysfunction, but peak flow velocity at the left ventricular outflow tract was normal. There was no evidence of stenosis of the left ventricular outflow tract. Localized hypertrophy in the basal part of the IVS in elderly patients could be a type of cardiac hypertrophy caused by hypertension. On echocardiography, the basal part of the IVS seemed to protrude toward the left ventricular cavity, but there was no evidence of stenosis in the left ventricular outflow tract.
We encountered an 80-year-old man with sudden bilateral visual disturbance. When he was admitted to the hospital, his blood pressure was 138/70mmHg, and an ECG revealed atrial fibrillation. Neurological examination showed only bilateral homonymous hemianopsia with no nystagmus or impairment of eye movement. He did not have paralysis, cerebellar ataxia, or speech disturbance. Therefore, there was no evidence of obstruction of the thalamogeniculate or thalamoperforating artery. Magnetic resonance imaging of the brain showed cerebral infarctions in both occipital lobes. Perimetry showed bilateral homonymous hemianopsia; the left side of the macula was spared. The lack of neurological deficit other than bilateral homonymous hemianopsia indicates that only the right and left cortical branches of the posterior cerebral artery were occluded.