[Spontaneous cerebral calcium embolism]

Rev Neurol. 2002 Feb 16-28;34(4):354-7.
[Article in Spanish]


Introduction: Calcium embolism is an uncommon cause of stroke which may not be diagnosed in cases which do not involve cardiac surgery or catheterization. The emboli may come from cardiac valves or calcified atheroma of the aortic or carotid arteries.

Case reports: Two patients with cerebral infarcts secondary to spontaneous calcium embolism confirmed by neuro imaging. In both cases on CT scans there were dense points corresponding to calcified material within the middle cerebral artery or one of its branches. In the first case migration of the calcified point following the course of the artery was observed.

Conclusions: Cranial CAT scans are essential for diagnosis of calcium embolism. Migration of the calcified point confirms the diagnosis. It is still not clear whether valve replacement is necessary in these patients and treatment with antiaggregants and/or anticoagulants is controversial.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Anticoagulants / therapeutic use
  • Brain Diseases / diagnostic imaging*
  • Calcinosis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Cerebral Ventricles / pathology
  • Humans
  • Hypertrophy / pathology
  • Intracranial Embolism / diagnostic imaging*
  • Intracranial Embolism / drug therapy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed


  • Anticoagulants