Ischemic stroke/transient ischemic attack events and carotid artery disease in the absence of or with minimal coronary artery calcification: Results from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis

Kazuhiro Osawa, Rine Nakanishi, Robyn L. McClelland, Joseph F. Polak, Warrick Bishop, Ralph L. Sacco, Indre Ceponiene, Negin Nezarat, Sina Rahmani, Hong Qi, Mitsuru Kanisawa, Matthew J. Budoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background and aims: The association between minimally elevated coronary artery calcification (CAC) and cerebrovascular disease is not well known. We assessed whether individuals with minimal CAC (Agatston scores of 1–10) have higher ischemic stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA) frequencies compared with those with no CAC. We also investigated the relative prevalence of carotid atherosclerosis in these two groups. Methods: A total of 3924 participants from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) without previous cardiovascular events, including stroke, and with baseline CAC scores of 0–10 were followed for the occurrence of incident ischemic stroke/TIA. We used carotid ultrasound to detect carotid artery plaques and to measure the intima-media thickness (IMT). Results: During a median follow-up of 13.2 years, 130 participants developed incident ischemic stroke/TIA. There was no significant difference in the ischemic stroke/TIA incidence between those with minimal CAC and no CAC (3.7 versus 2.7 per 1000 person-years). In participants with minimal CAC, we observed a significant association of the condition with an internal carotid artery (ICA) that had a greater-than-average IMT (ICA-IMT; β = 0.071, p = 0.001) and a higher odds ratio (OR) for carotid artery plaques (OR 1.46; with a 95% confidence interval [CI] of 1.18–1.80; p < 0.001). Conclusions: A CAC score of 0–10 is associated with a low rate of ischemic stroke/TIA, and thus a minimal CAC score is not a valuable predictive marker for ischemic stroke/TIA. A minimal CAC score may, however, provide an early and asymptomatic sign of carotid artery disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)22-27
Number of pages6
JournalAtherosclerosis
Volume275
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2018

Keywords

  • Carotid artery intima-media thickness
  • Carotid artery lesion
  • Coronary artery calcification
  • Ischemic stroke/Transient ischemic attack

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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