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Revista Ecuatoriana de Neurología

On-line version ISSN 2631-2581Print version ISSN 1019-8113


COSTA, Aldo F. et al. White Matter Hyperintensities Severity And Progression Are Not Related To Earlobe Crease Presence. A Cross-Sectional And Longitudinal Prospective Study In Community-Dwelling Older Adults. Rev Ecuat Neurol [online]. 2023, vol.32, n.1, pp.18-23. ISSN 2631-2581.


Earlobe crease (ELC) has been associated with coronary atherosclerosis. Recently, ELC has been associated with white matter hyperintensities (WMH) of presumed vascular origin. However, the results are heterogeneous among studies. We aimed to assess whether ELC is associated with WMH severity and progression in community-dwelling older adults.


Atahualpa Project Cohort participants received earlobe photographs and brain MRIs to assess the association between ELC and WMH severity, as well as the relationship between ELC and WMH progression using ordinal logistic and Poisson regression models, respectively.


The cross-sectional component of the study included 359 individuals aged ≥60 years. ELC was present in 175 subjects. On MRI, 107 participants did not have WMH, 174 had mild, 56 had moderate, and 22 had severe WMH. A multivariate ordinal logistic regression model did not show a significant association between the main variables investigated (OR: 0.72; 95% C.I.: 0.48 - 1.06). The longitudinal component included 252 individuals, 126 of whom had ELC and 103 had WMH progression. A Poisson regression model showed no association between ELC and WMH progression (IRR: 1.02; 95% C.I.: 0.69 - 1.51).


ELC is not related to WMH severity and progression in the study population.

Keywords : Earlobe crease; Frank’s sign; White matter hyperintensities; Progression; Risk factors; Prospective cohort study..

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