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PR interval duration is associated with the presence of white matter hyperintensities: Insights from the epidemiologic LIFE-Adult Study

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Schroeter,  Matthias L.
Department Neurology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Witte,  A. Veronica
Department Neurology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Polyakova,  Maryna
Department Neurology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Villringer,  Arno
Department Neurology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Kornej_2022.pdf
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Citation

Kornej, J., Friedrich, K., Schroeter, M. L., Witte, A. V., Polyakova, M., Villringer, A., et al. (2022). PR interval duration is associated with the presence of white matter hyperintensities: Insights from the epidemiologic LIFE-Adult Study. PLoS One, 17(6): e0269815. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0269815.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000A-A19B-1
Abstract
Background: PR interval prolongation is a preliminary stage of atrial cardiomyopathy which is considered as an intermediate phenotype for atrial fibrillation (AF). AF is a known risk factor for cerebrovascular adverse outcomes including stroke. Cerebral ischemia is one cause of white matter hyperintensities (WMHs), and cognitive dysfunction. Aim: To analyze the relationship between PR interval and WMHs. Materials and methods: We performed a cross-sectional analysis with individuals from the LIFE-Adult-Study (a population-based cohort study of randomly selected individuals from Leipzig, Germany) with available brain MRI and ECG. The Fazekas stages were used to quantify WMHs (0 = none; 1 = punctate foci; 2 = beginning confluence; 3 = large confluent areas). Stages 2-3 were defined as advanced WMHs. The PR interval was measured from resting 12-lead ECG. PR duration >200ms was defined as PR interval prolongation. We used a binary logistic regression for statistical analysis. We examined the relationship between MRI and ECG measures and adjusted them for clinical risk factors. Results: We included 2464 individuals (age 59±15 years, 47% women) into analyses. The median PR interval was 160ms (interquartile range 143-179), and 319 (13%) individuals with advanced WMHs, were significantly older, had more cardiovascular comorbidities and risk factors compared to individuals without WMHs (all p<0.005). On univariable analysis, PR interval duration (OR 1.01, 95%CI 1.01-1.02, p≤0.001) and PR interval ≥160 ms (OR 2.1, 95%CI 1.6-2.7, p≤0.001) were associated with advanced WMHs. In multivariable analysis, while PR interval duration was not associated with WMHs in the whole cohort, individuals with PR ≥160ms had higher risk for WMHs. Conclusion: PR interval duration is associated with advanced WMHs beside advanced age, hypertension, and history of stroke. Further research is needed to determine whether changes in PR interval indices are clinically relevant for changes in WMHs.