Background and purpose: Calcification in cerebral arteries is understudied, although frequently observed on computed tomography of the brain (CT brain). We aimed to assess the incidence of intracranial artery calcification in ischemic stroke patients and to evaluate its correlation with ischemic stroke.
Methods: Our study included ischemic stroke patients and age-gender-matched nonischemic stroke patients referred for CT brain.
Results: One hundred and seventy-five ischemic stroke patients and 182 controls were enrolled. The highest prevalence of calcification was seen in intracranial internal carotid artery (IICA) (80.4%), and less commonly in the vertebral artery (35.6%). There was a higher prevalence of intracranial artery calcification in ischemic stroke patients than controls (92.6% vs. 76.4%, P < .001). Hypertension (OR = 2.056, 95% CI: 1.129 approximately 3.745), diabetes (OR = 2.483, 95% CI: 1.233 approximately 5.001), smoking (OR = 2.844, 95% CI: 1.542 approximately 5.243), intracranial artery calcification (OR = 3.172, 95% CI: 1.252 approximately 8.036), hyperlipidemia (OR = 6.714, 95% CI: 3.302 approximately 13.650), and atrial fibrillation (OR = 7.941, 95% CI: 2.790 approximately 22.599) were found to be independently associated with ischemic stroke.
Conclusions: We demonstrated a higher incidence of intracranial artery calcification in ischemic stroke patients. Besides traditional risk factors, intracranial artery calcification was found to be an independent risk factor of ischemic stroke.