Cortical superficial siderosis describes a distinct pattern of blood-breakdown product deposition limited to cortical sulci over the convexities of the cerebral hemispheres, sparing the brainstem, cerebellum and spinal cord. Although cortical superficial siderosis has many possible causes, it is emerging as a key feature of cerebral amyloid angiopathy, a common and important age-related cerebral small vessel disorder leading to intracerebral haemorrhage and dementia. In cerebral amyloid angiopathy cohorts, cortical superficial siderosis is associated with characteristic clinical symptoms, including transient focal neurological episodes; preliminary data also suggest an association with a high risk of future intracerebral haemorrhage, with potential implications for antithrombotic treatment decisions. Thus, cortical superficial siderosis is of relevance to neurologists working in neurovascular, memory and epilepsy clinics, and neurovascular emergency services, emphasizing the need for appropriate blood-sensitive magnetic resonance sequences to be routinely acquired in these clinical settings. In this review we focus on recent developments in neuroimaging and detection, aetiology, prevalence, pathophysiology and clinical significance of cortical superficial siderosis, with a particular emphasis on cerebral amyloid angiopathy. We also highlight important areas for future investigation and propose standards for evaluating cortical superficial siderosis in research studies.

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Brain: a journal of neurology
Department of Epidemiology

Charidimou, A., Linn, J., Vernooij, M., Opherk, C., Akoudad, S., Baron, J.-C., … Werring, D. (2015). Cortical superficial siderosis: Detection and clinical significance in cerebral amyloid angiopathy and related conditions. Brain: a journal of neurology (Vol. 138, pp. 2126–2139). doi:10.1093/brain/awv162