Limited Role for C. pneumoniae, CMV and HSV-1 in Cerebral Large and Small Vessel Atherosclerosis

M Voorend*, a, A.J.A.M van der Venc, B Kubatd, J Loddera, C.A Bruggemanb
a Departments of Neurology, Cardiovascular research institute Maastricht (CARIM) University Hospital Maastricht
b Departments of Medical Microbiology, Cardiovascular research institute Maastricht (CARIM) University Hospital Maastricht
c Department of Internal Medicine, University Hospital Nijmegen
d Department of Pathology, Netherlands Forensic Institute, Rijswijk, The Netherland

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© Voorend et al;Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestrictive use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Neurology, University Hospital Maastricht, PO Box, 5800, 6202 AZ Maastricht, The Netherland; Tel: +31-43-3875062; Fax: +31-43-3877055; E-mail:


Aims: To explore whetherChlamydia pneumoniae, Cytomegalovirus and Herpes Simplex Virus type 1 could be detected in large and small cerebral arteries, as well as in an area of brain parenchyma where white matter lesions (leukoaraiosis) can be found, in patients with clinically unmanifested cerebrovascular atherosclerosis. Methods and results( Arterial specimens from the basilar artery and middle cerebral artery, and brain samples from the basal ganglia and periventricular white matter were obtained. Neuropathological changes were assessed in Haematoxylin-Eosin stained sections. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was performed on paraffin embedded sections. Subsequently, we performed immunohistochemical staining on samples, which were found positive in PCR. We failed to detect C. pneumoniae, CMV, or HSV-1, in any of the cerebral large vessels. In the brain tissue, we found only one case positive for CMV, and one for C. pneumoniae. Conclusions( our findings suggest a limited role for C. pneumoniae, CMV and HSV-1 in cerebral large and small vessel atherosclerosis.

Keywords: Chlamydia pneumoniae, Cytomegalovirus, Herpes Simplex Virus type 1, small vessel disease, brain.