Author + information
- Received March 30, 2020
- Revision received July 9, 2020
- Accepted July 20, 2020
- Published online September 21, 2020.
- Jonas W. Bartstra, MDa,∗ (, )
- Tim C. van den Beukel, BSca,
- Wim Van Hecke, MDb,
- Willem P.T.M. Mali, MD, PhDa,
- Wilko Spiering, MD, PhDc,
- Huiberdina L. Koek, MD, PhDd,
- Jeroen Hendrikse, MD, PhDa,
- Pim A. de Jong, MD, PhDa and
- Annemarie M. den Harder, MD, PhDa
- aDepartment of Radiology, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands
- bDepartment of Pathology, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands
- cDepartment of Vascular Medicine, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands
- dDepartment of Geriatrics, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands
- ↵∗Address for correspondence:
Mr. J.W. Bartstra, Department of Radiology, University Medical Center Utrecht, Postbox 85500, 3508 GA Utrecht, the Netherlands.
• Intracranial arterial calcifications are common on CT imaging in the general population and, although some calcifications are considered innocent, others are associated with adverse clinical outcomes.
• Intimal and medial calcification in large intracranial arteries differ with respect to risk factors and clinical outcomes.
• Investigation of intracranial calcification might lead to new therapeutic options for prevention of stroke and dementia.
Intracranial large and small arterial calcifications are a common incidental finding on computed tomography imaging in the general population. Here we provide an overview of the published reports on prevalence of intracranial arterial calcifications on computed tomography imaging and histopathology in relation to risk factors and clinical outcomes. We performed a systematic search in Medline, with a search filter using synonyms for computed tomography scanning, (histo)pathology, different intracranial arterial beds, and calcification. We found that intracranial calcifications are a frequent finding in all arterial beds with the highest prevalence in the intracranial internal carotid artery. In general, prevalence increases with age. Longitudinal studies on calcification progression and intervention studies are warranted to investigate the possible causal role of calcification on clinical outcomes. This might open up new therapeutic directions in stroke and dementia prevention and the maintenance of the healthy brain.
- cognitive impairment
- computed tomography
- intracranial arterial calcification
Dr. Hendrikse has received funding from the European Research Council under the European Union's Horizon 2020 Programme (H2020), grant agreement 637024 (HEARTOFSTROKE), and H2020 grant agreement 666881, SVDs@target; however, none of these was received during the conduct of the study. All other authors have reported that they have no relationships relevant to the contents of this paper to disclose.
The authors attest they are in compliance with human studies committees and animal welfare regulations of the authors’ institutions and Food and Drug Administration guidelines, including patient consent where appropriate. For more information, visit the JACC author instructions page.
- Received March 30, 2020.
- Revision received July 9, 2020.
- Accepted July 20, 2020.
- 2020 American College of Cardiology Foundation
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