Association between Intracranial Atherosclerotic Calcium Burden and Angiographic Luminal Stenosis Measurements.

TitleAssociation between Intracranial Atherosclerotic Calcium Burden and Angiographic Luminal Stenosis Measurements.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsBaradaran H, Patel P, Gialdini G, Giambrone A, Lerario MP, Navi BB, Min JK, Iadecola C, Kamel H, Gupta A
JournalAJNR Am J Neuroradiol
Date Published2017 Sep

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Calcification of the intracranial vasculature is an independent risk factor for stroke. The relationship between luminal stenosis and calcium burden in the intracranial circulation is incompletely understood. We evaluated the relationship between atherosclerotic calcification and luminal stenosis in the intracranial ICAs.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Using a prospective stroke registry, we identified patients who had both NCCT and CTA or MRA examinations as part of a diagnostic evaluation for ischemic stroke. We used NCCTs to qualitatively (modified Woodcock Visual Score) and quantitatively (Agatston-Janowitz Calcium Score) measure ICA calcium burden and used angiography to measure arterial stenosis. We calculated correlation coefficients between the degree of narrowing and calcium burden measures.

RESULTS: In 470 unique carotid arteries (235 patients), 372 (79.1%) had atherosclerotic calcification detectable on CT compared with 160 (34%) with measurable arterial stenosis on CTA or MRA (P < .001). We found a weak linear correlation between qualitative (R = 0.48) and quantitative (R = 0.42) measures of calcium burden and the degree of luminal stenosis (P < .001 for both). Of 310 ICAs with 0% luminal stenosis, 216 (69.7%) had measurable calcium scores.

CONCLUSIONS: There is a weak correlation between intracranial atherosclerotic calcium scores and luminal narrowing, which may be explained by the greater sensitivity of CT than angiography in detecting the presence of measurable atherosclerotic disease. Future studies are warranted to evaluate the relationship between stenosis and calcium burden in predicting stroke risk.

Alternate JournalAJNR Am J Neuroradiol
PubMed ID28729297