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A 54-year-old member asked:

Hello dr, i had a mri of my brain. it came back as slight chronic microvascular ischemic changes. what does that mean? also what does a air cell mean?

2 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Larry Armstrong
Neurosurgery 27 years experience
Aging changes: As we get older, arteries harden and we see small vessel changes in the brain due to aging. They simply mean the brain doesn't work as well as it did when we are young and mostly attest to our slowly diminishing function. These are microvascular ischemic changes. You probably don't notice these changes. Air cells are bony areas of the skull with air spaces in them- normal.
Dr. Bennett Machanic
Neurology 52 years experience
Nonspecific: The radiologist mentioned "microvascular" ischemic changes as correlation to appearance of white matter lesions, but these are truly nonspecific, and can be seen with many situations: smoking, hypertension, prior head injury, migraine, etc., besides expected arteriosclerosis. These should not be construed as indicative of ongoing disease in absence of clinical correlation.

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Last updated Feb 27, 2021

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