Background: Pineal calcification and low melatonin have been shown to be risk factors for stroke in animal studies; however, there are limited clinical data on the association of pineal calcification and stroke in humans.
Methods: All computed tomographic (CT) scans of the brains of patients >15 years of age during the year 2011 at a university teaching hospital were retrospectively reviewed. Patient medical charts were used to obtain the risk factors for stroke, including diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia, age, and sex. Cerebral infarction was identified by having clinical syndromes of stroke and a positive CT scan. Patients with embolic or hemorrhagic stroke were excluded. Pineal calcification was evidenced by the CT scans. The association of various stroke risk factors and cerebral infarction were calculated using logistic regression analysis.
Results: A total of 1614 patients were included, and symptomatic cerebral infarction was identified in 620 patients (38.4%). Regarding stroke risk factors in symptomatic cerebral infarction patients, the majority of patients were male (356 [57.4%]), >50 years of age (525 [84.7%]), and had hypertension (361 [58.2%]); some had diabetes (199 [32.1%]) and dyslipidemia (174 [28.1%]). Pineal calcification was found in 1081 patients (67.0%), with a male:female ratio of 1.5:1. Significant factors related to cerebral infarction by univariate logistic regression were age >50 years, hypertension, diabetes, dyslipidemia, and pineal calcification. Pineal calcification as a risk factor for cerebral infarction had an adjusted odds ratio of 1.35 (95% confidence interval 1.05-1.72).
Conclusions: Pineal calcification may be a potential new contributor to cerebral infarction.
Keywords: Cerebral infarction; melatonin; pineal calcification; predictors; risk factor.
Copyright © 2014 National Stroke Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.