Elevated leukocyte count in asymptomatic subjects is associated with a higher risk for cerebral white matter lesions

Chi Kyung Kim, Seung Hoon Lee, Beom Joon Kim, Wi Sun Ryu, Seung Ho Choi, Byung Hee Oh, Byung Woo Yoon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Cerebral white matter lesions (WMLs) are radiologic markers of small vessel disease in brain, and inflammatory processes were related to WMLs. We propose to determine if elevated leukocyte count was associated with a higher risk of WMLs. Methods: 1586 asymptomatic subjects who visited our hospital for a routine health check-up were enrolled. Leukocyte counts were measured and the presence of moderate to severe WMLs was determined by brain MRI. Results: Thirty (1.9%) had moderate to severe WMLs, and a significant greater proportion (4.1%) of subjects in the highest leukocyte count quartile had moderate to severe WMLs. After adjusting by C-reactive protein, aspirin use and cardiovascular risk factors, the highest quartile of leukocyte count (≥6.7 × 10 9/L) was significantly associated with moderate to severe WMLs compared with the lowest quartile [adjusted odds ratio, 4.03; 95% confidence interval, 1.05-15.5]. Conclusion: The authors report for the first time that an elevated leukocyte count is independently associated with moderate to severe WMLs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-180
Number of pages4
JournalClinical Neurology and Neurosurgery
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Apr

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by grants from the Korean Health 21 R&D Project, Ministry of Health and Welfare, Republic of Korea (A080503 and A060171). The funding organization had no role in the design, conduct, or analysis conducted during this study, or in the preparation of this report.

Copyright 2011 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Cerebral ischemia
  • Inflammation
  • Leukocyte count
  • White blood cell
  • White matter lesions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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