Medscape (8/26, Lowry) reports, "Arterial calcification in major vessel beds outside the brain, as shown with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), is associated with vascular brain disease and may be linked to future risk for dementia and stroke, a new study shows." Investigators "used computed X-ray tomography (CT) scans to measure calcification in the coronary arteries, aortic arch, and extracranial and intracranial carotid arteries. They also used brain MRI scans to assess cerebral infarcts, microbleeds, and WMLs, which are considered important markers of vascular brain disease." Altogether, 885 patients were involved in the study.
HealthDay (8/26, Preidt) reports, "The researchers found that calcium build-up in each of the four arteries was associated with white matter lesions and small strokes in the brain, and that the amount of calcified plaque in the vessels closest to the brain (carotid arteries) was most strongly linked with signs of vascular brain disease." The study, published in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology, found that "the strongest associations were between intracranial carotid calcification and the volume of white matter lesions, and extracranial carotid calcification and small strokes."
MedPage Today (8/26, Gever) reports, "The researchers cautioned, however, that the clinical implications may be limited. They noted that the problem of radiation exposure raises questions about the practicality of large-scale CT screening of neurologically healthy people."
POSTED BY STEVEN ALMANY, MD