Correlation of coronary artery atherosclerosis with atherosclerosis of the intracranial cerebral artery and the extracranial carotid artery

Eur Neurol. 2008;59(6):292-8. doi: 10.1159/000121418. Epub 2008 Apr 11.


Background: Investigating atherosclerosis of the coronary artery in ischemic stroke patients is clinically important because comorbidity is relatively common in such patients. We studied the relationship of atherosclerosis of the coronary artery to atherosclerosis of the intracranial cerebral artery and extracranial carotid artery. Further investigation was performed for determining the factors independently associated with coronary artery atherosclerosis in ischemic stroke patients.

Methods: We consecutively recruited ischemic stroke patients who had no history of coronary artery disease, and they underwent vascular examination. Patient-based vascular assessment was performed with magnetic resonance angiography of the cerebral arteries and computed tomography coronary angiography. The factors independently associated with coronary artery stenosis (> or =50%) were obtained from the conventional vascular risk factors and cerebral arterial stenosis using the logistic regression model.

Results: Coronary artery stenosis was observed in 25.4% of the patients and this was associated with age (OR: 1.16, 95% CI: 1.03-1.30) and the presence of stenosis of the extracranial carotid artery (OR: 11.37, 95% CI: 1.88-68.75) after logistic regression analysis. Intracranial arterial stenosis was not independently related to coronary stenosis.

Conclusion: Careful concern about coronary artery disease is needed when treating ischemic stroke patients who have atherosclerosis of the extracranial carotid artery.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Carotid Artery Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Carotid Artery Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Comorbidity
  • Coronary Angiography
  • Coronary Artery Disease / diagnosis*
  • Coronary Artery Disease / epidemiology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperlipidemias / epidemiology
  • Hypertension / epidemiology
  • Intracranial Arteriosclerosis / diagnosis*
  • Intracranial Arteriosclerosis / epidemiology*
  • Magnetic Resonance Angiography
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Distribution
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • Stroke / diagnosis
  • Stroke / epidemiology*