Influence of Age Ranges on Relationship of Complex Aortic Plaque With Cervicocephalic Atherosclerosis in Ischemic Stroke

Qi Kong, Xin Ma, Chen Wang, Wuwei Feng, Bruce Ovbiagele, Yuren Zhang, Xiangying Du, Xianghua Fang
Journal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases: the Official Journal of National Stroke Association 2019 March 28

BACKGROUND: Complex aortic plaque is a potential cause of acute ischemic cerebrovascular disease, which needs timely identification. Also as a marker for systemic atherosclerosis, complex aortic plaque may be indicated by significant (≥50%) cervicocephalic atherosclerotic stenosis. We aimed at examining whether age ranges would influence their association to more accurately estimate the risk of having complex aortic plaque in acute ischemic cerebrovascular disease.

METHODS: Aortic arch and cervicocephalic arteries were simultaneously evaluated using computed tomography angiography. Middle-aged (45-64 years) and old-aged (65-85 years) acute ischemic cerebrovascular disease patients were divided into 2 groups according to whether there was an aortic arch plaque with thickness of greater than or equal to 4mm or associated ulcerations or mural thrombus.

RESULTS: Old-aged patients (n = 107) had a higher prevalence of complex aortic plaque (67.3% versus 30.9%, P < .001) than those middle aged (n = 178). Among middle-aged patients, the presence of extracranial significant atherosclerotic stenosis (adjusted odd ratio = 2.89, 95% confidence interval: 1.42-5.86) rather than intracranial ones independently predicted complex aortic plaque. Regarding the extent of significant cervicocephalic atherosclerotic stenosis, the presence of multi-segment, bilateral, simultaneous extracranial and intracranial, and simultaneous anterior and posterior circulation ones were independent indicators for complex aortic plaque in the middle-aged subgroup (adjusted odd ratio = 2.42, 2.05, 2.26, 2.14, respectively). By contrast, no statistical correlation of complex aortic plaque and significant cervicocephalic atherosclerotic stenosis was found among old-aged patients.

CONCLUSION: Considering the ranges of age was important to more precisely predict complex aortic plaque with significant cervicocephalic atherosclerotic stenosis in acute ischemic cerebrovascular disease.

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