Objective: This study sought to determine if calcified carotid artery atheromas (CCAA) imaged on panoramic radiographs portend an adverse vascular event. Study design: Medical records of 46 males (mean age 66) with a CCAA (Group 1) were reviewed for preimaging vascular risks and for cerebrovascular events subsequent to the radiograph. Matched controls (age, gender, ethnicity, and vascular risks) treated at the same hospital but never radiographed were identified (Group 2) and matched to their cohort. The medical records of Group 2 individuals were re-reviewed for development of vascular events occurring after the date of their cohort's radiograph. Results: Twenty adverse vascular events (myocardial infarct, stroke, revascularization procedure, transient ischemic attack, angina requiring hospitalization) occurred in twelve Group 1 patients and 6 events occurred in five Group 2 patients (P = 0.006). Conclusion: The incidental finding of a CCAA portends significant risk of a future, adverse vascular event. © 2007 Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.
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