Prevalence of Panoramically Imaged Carotid Atheromas in Alcoholic Patients With Chronic Pancreatitis and Comorbid Diabetes

J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2018 Sep;76(9):1929.e1-1929.e7. doi: 10.1016/j.joms.2018.05.011. Epub 2018 May 15.


Purpose: Men with alcohol-related chronic pancreatitis (ARCP) resulting in type 3c diabetes mellitus (DM) are at a uniquely elevated risk of adverse ischemic events given the role of inflammation in both the underlying disease processes and atherosclerosis. We hypothesized that their panoramic images would show a prevalence of calcified carotid artery atheromas (calcified carotid artery plaques [CCAPs]) significantly more often than a general population of similarly aged men.

Patients and methods: We implemented a retrospective observational study. The sample was composed of male patients older than 30 years having panoramic images. The predictor variable was a diagnosis of ARCP-DM, and the outcome variable was the prevalence rate of CCAPs. The prevalence of CCAPs among the patients with ARCP-DM was then compared with that of a historical general population composed of similarly aged men. Descriptive and bivariate statistics were computed, and the P value was set at .05.

Results: Of the 32 men (mean age, 61.7 ± 11.2 years) with ARCP-DM, 8 (25%) (mean age, 63.3 ± 4.80 years) had atheromas (CCAPs). There was a statistically significant (P < .05) association between a diagnosis of ARCP-DM and the presence of an atheroma on the panoramic image in comparison with the 3% rate manifested by the historical general-population cohort. The presence or absence of classic atherogenic risk factors within the ARCP-DM cohort failed to distinguish between individuals with and individuals without atheroma formation on their panoramic images.

Conclusions: The results of this study suggest that CCAP, a risk indicator for future adverse cardiovascular events, is frequently seen on the panoramic images of male patients with ARCP-DM. Dentists treating male patients with the disorder must be uniquely vigilant for the presence of these lesions.

Publication types

  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Alcoholism / complications*
  • Carotid Stenosis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Carotid Stenosis / epidemiology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus / etiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pancreatitis, Chronic / etiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Radiography, Panoramic
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors