Are Arterial Calcifications a Marker of Remodeling in Vertebrobasilar Territory?
Background and Purpose—Intracranial atherosclerosis is responsible for a substantial proportion of stroke, and vessel calcifications as seen on native computed tomographic scans could be an estimate of its burden. The presence of vertebrobasilar artery calcifications is associated with risk factors.
Methods—This study is a retrospective clinical study on 449 consecutive patients with stroke. Native computed tomographic scans were assessed for the presence of calcification in the intracranial segment of vertebrobasilar artery, and the area of each vessel was calculated from 2 perpendicular diameters. A comprehensive assessment of standard risk factors was recorded.
Results—A total of 245 (54.6%) patients had visible calcifications in vertebrobasilar artery. Calcifications were positively associated with advanced age (odds ratio, 1.04; 95% confidence interval, 1.02–1.06; P<0.001), larger total vessel area (odds ratio, 1.01; 95% confidence interval, 1.00–1.01; P<0.001), and history of previous transient ischemic attack/stroke (odds ratio, 1.82; 95% confidence interval, 1.08–3.07; P=0.024).
Conclusions—Higher prevalence of calcifications in vertebrobasilar artery territory of patients with stroke is associated with advanced age, larger arterial area, and history of previous transient ischemic attack/stroke.
- Received September 12, 2013.
- Accepted December 4, 2013.
- © 2014 American Heart Association, Inc.