BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Atherosclerotic calcifications are present not only in the extracranial carotid bifurcation but also in the intracranial part of the internal carotid artery. We assessed the association between intracranial internal carotid artery calcifications and cardiovascular risk factors in patients with ischemic cerebrovascular disease and the association between calcifications and the presence of this disease. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Patients undergoing multidetector CT (MDCT) angiography of the carotid arteries for assessment of stenosis degree were included in the study. A semiautomatic custom-made system to quantify calcifications was developed. The associations between the volume of calcifications and cardiovascular risk factors and the type of ischemic cerebrovascular symptoms were assessed with logistic regression. RESULTS: MDCT angiography was performed in 406 patients (age, 62 +/- 14 years; 242 men). Men had a significantly higher calcification volume (66 mm(3)) than women (33 mm(3)). Calcification volume was positively associated with age in both men and women. Smoking, hypercholesterolemia, and a history of cardiac disease were independently related to the presence of calcifications. A history of cardiac disease and ischemic cerebrovascular disease were independently related to the volume of calcifications. No association was found between calcifications and the presence or type of ischemic cerebrovascular disease in the vascular territory of the intracranial internal carotid artery. CONCLUSIONS: Calcifications were associated with higher age and male gender. The presence and volume of calcifications were independently associated with cardiovascular risk factors. Calcifications were not related to the presence or type of ischemic cerebrovascular disease.
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