Background: This study investigated the associations of mitral and aortic valve calcification with complex aortic atheroma among patients with embolic stroke of undetermined source.
Methods: We included 52 consecutive patients (mean age 58.1 years; 75.0% male) with embolic stroke of undetermined source. Mitral annular calcification, aortic annular calcification, and aortic valve sclerosis were assessed by transthoracic echocardiography. Complex aortic atheroma was assessed by transesophageal echocardiography and was defined as plaque protruding greater than or equal to 4 mm into the lumen or with ulcerated or mobile components.
Results: Ten patients (19.2%) had complex aortic atheroma. Patients with and without complex aortic atheroma showed significant differences in terms of hypertension (80.0% versus 38.1%, P = .017), dyslipidemia (90.0% versus 31.0%, P <.01), chronic kidney disease (60.0% versus 14.3%, P <.01), previous coronary artery disease (30.0% versus 4.8%, P = .013), prior stroke (40.0% versus 7.1%, P <.01), left atrial dimension (4.0 cm versus 3.6 cm, P = .023), aortic valve sclerosis (80.0% versus 26.2%, P <.01), aortic valve calcification (aortic annular calcification or aortic valve sclerosis) (80.0% versus 26.0%, P <.01), and left-sided valve calcification (mitral annular calcification or aortic annular calcification or aortic valve sclerosis) (80.0% versus 28.6%, P <.01). In multivariate analysis, left-sided valve calcification was independently associated with complex aortic atheroma (odds ratio 4.1, 95% confidence interval 1.3-26.1, P = .049).
Conclusions: Mitral or aortic valve calcification detected by transthoracic echocardiography can be a useful marker for predicting complex aortic atheroma in patients with embolic stroke of undetermined source.
Keywords: Embolic stroke of undetermined source; aortic atheroma; transesophageal echocardiography; valve calcification.
Copyright © 2018 National Stroke Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.