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Carotid artery calcification score and its association with cognitive impairment

Authors Chu Z, Cheng L, Tong Q

Received 31 October 2018

Accepted for publication 13 December 2018

Published 18 January 2019 Volume 2019:14 Pages 167—177


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Walker

Zhou Chu, Liu Cheng, Qiao Tong

Department of Vascular Surgery, The Affiliated Drum Tower Hospital of Nanjing University Medical School, Nanjing 210008, Jiangsu, China

Purpose: To retrospectively investigate the possible association between carotid artery calcification score (CS) and cognitive impairment in carotid artery stenosis (CAS) patients.
Patients and methods: Carotid artery was measured in 102 patients with cervical carotid arteries using Color Doppler ultrasound, multi-detector row spiral CT angiography and MRI scanning. Correlation analysis between CSs obtained by MD CT and cognitive scores was performed, and the correlation between CSs and vascular stenosis degree and MRI-measured plaque histological (lipid-rich necrotic nucleus [LRNC], intraplaque hemorrhage and fibrous cap surface rupture) and morphological parameters (lumen area [LA], wall area [WA], total area of blood vessels [TVA], plaque burden [PB]) was analyzed. Follow-up review analysis was conducted on 38 postopera­tive patients.
Results: Significant negative correlation was discovered between CS value and cognitive scores in CAS patients (R=-0.359, P<0.001), which did not exist in postoperative patients (P=0.348); CS value also showed significant correlation with WA (R=0.521, P=0.042), TVA (R=0.215, P=0.017) and PB (R=0.237, P=0.003) and had a certain predictive value for the occurrence probability of carotid plaque LRNC (P=0.029, AUC =0.780) in preoperative patients.
Conclusion: Carotid artery CSs have significant correlation with cognitive scores, which could be used as risk factor for early screening of cognitive impairment in CAS patients. The possible mechanism may be related to the calcification impact on the plaque burden.

Keywords: calcification score, carotid artery stenosis, cognitive impairment, plaque burden

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