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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013, Article ID 918970, 7 pages
Clinical Study

Calcifications of Vertebrobasilar Arteries on CT: Detailed Distribution and Relation to Risk Factors in 245 Ischemic Stroke Patients

Department of Neurology, University Medical Centre Maribor, Ljubljanska Cesta 5, 2000 Maribor, Slovenia

Received 12 April 2013; Revised 7 June 2013; Accepted 8 July 2013

Academic Editor: Michelangelo Mancuso

Copyright © 2013 Slaven Pikija et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Introduction. Intracranial atherosclerosis is responsible for a substantial proportion of strokes worldwide but its detailed morphology in the vertebrobasilar arteries (VBA) is unknown. Subject and Methods. Cases with ischemic strokes were retrospectively sought from the hospital database. Native CT scans were assessed for vessel area and intracranial artery calcifications (ICACs) in VBA. The calcifications were classified as focal (FCs), crescent, and circular. Results. 245 patients (mean age: years, 57.6% females) had visible ICACs. Calcifications were found in 75.9%, 63.3%, and 17.1% in the left vertebral artery (LVA), the right vertebral artery (RVA), and the basilar artery (BA), respectively. FCs were present in 91.0%, 90.3%, and 100.0%; crescents in 30.3%, 29.0%, and 7.1%, and circulars in 6.4%, 4.8%, and 0.0% of the RVA, LVA, and BA, respectively. FCs in dorsolateral quadrant were least prevalent in both vertebral arteries (VAs): 46 (29.8%) and 46 (27.4%) for RVA and LVA, respectively. Risk factors associated with vertical dispersion of ICACs were male gender (OR : 2.69, 1.38–5.28) and diabetes (OR : 2.28, 1.04–4.99). Conclusions. FCs in VAs are least prevalent in dorsolateral quadrants. The vertical dispersion of ICACs seems to be associated with the male gender and diabetes.