Impact of White Matter Hyperintensity and Age on Gait Parameters in Patients With Cerebral Small Vessel Disease

Published:December 30, 2022DOI:



      This study aimed to investigate the effect of white matter hyperintensity (WMH), a common cerebral small vessel disease (CSVD) imaging marker, and age on gait parameters in middle-aged and geriatric populations.


      Cross-sectional study.

      Setting and Participants

      A total of 1076 participants (62.9% female; age 61.0 ± 9.3 years), who visited the neurology clinic or obtained a physical check-up from the Affiliated Hospital of Guizhou Medical University. In total, 883 patients with WMH and 193 healthy controls were included in this study.


      The Fazekas scores of patients with CSVD were used to assess the burden of WMH. Based on the Fazekas scores, all participants were divided into 4 groups: 553 patients with Fazekas I, 257 patients with Fazekas II, 73 patients with Fazekas III, and 193 controls. Gait parameters, including step speed, frequency, length, width, stance time, and swing time, were quantitatively assessed using a vision-based artificial intelligence gait analyzer (SAIL system). The relationships among the Fazekas scores, age, and gait parameters were analyzed.


      Step speed, step length, step width, stance time, and swing time were significantly different among the 4 groups. Furthermore, Fazekas scores and age were both associated with gait parameters, including step speed, step length, stance time, and swing time. The Fazekas scores were associated with step width, whereas age was not. Age was associated with step frequency, whereas Fazekas scores were not.

      Conclusions and Implications

      Fazekas score and age are useful for evaluating gait parameters in patients with CSVD. Emerging WMH (such as Fazekas Ⅰ) could be a clinical warning sign of gait disturbance in a geriatric population.


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