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Increased risk of posterior circulation infarcts among ischemic stroke patients with cervical spondylosis

Authors Chen C, Chung C, Lee T, Chang W, Tang SF, Pei Y

Received 22 November 2014

Accepted for publication 23 December 2014

Published 3 February 2015 Volume 2015:11 Pages 273—278


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Wai Kwong Tang

Chih-Chi Chen,1 Chia-Ying Chung,1 Tsong-Hai Lee,2 Wei-Han Chang,1 Simon FT Tang,1 Yu-Cheng Pei1,3

1Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Chang Gung University, College of Medicine, 2Department of Neurology, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Chang Gung University, College of Medicine, 3Healthy Aging Research Center, Chang Gung University, Taoyuan, Taiwan

Background: Cervical spondylosis is one of the extrinsic factors causing vertebral artery stenosis. Several case studies have reported compression of the vertebral artery induced by cervical osteophytes that has resulted in posterior circulation infarcts (POCI). However, to the best of our knowledge, no studies have yet analyzed differences in the risk factors and stroke subtypes between ischemic stroke patients with cervical spondylosis and those without.
Purpose: In the case-controlled study reported here, we analyzed the risk factors and stroke subtypes in ischemic stroke patients with and without cervical spondylosis. Characteristics in all the recruited patients with POCI and non-POCI were further compared to extract other risk factors that could predict the occurrence of POCI.
Methods and patients: We filtered out ischemic stroke patients with cervical spondylosis (“Stroke+C” group) by International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision codes. We analyzed the data of 38 subjects in the Stroke+C group and 152 sex- and age-comparable ischemic stroke patients without cervical spondylosis (“Stroke-C” group). We recorded the demographic characteristics including sex and age, and stroke risk factors, including diabetes mellitus, hypertension, heart disease, hyperlipidemia, and smoking habits. The stroke classifications were defined by the Oxford Community Stroke Project classification. All subjects were further categorized into POCI or non-POCI groups. The ultrasound findings of the vertebral arteries (extracranial and intracranial) in the Stroke+C group were also recorded.
Results: More patients in the Stroke+C group tended to have POCI (34.2%) than patients in the Stroke-C group (17.5%) (odds ratio [OR] =2.41, P<0.05). Furthermore, hypertension (OR=3.41, P<0.01) and cervical spondylosis (OR=2.41, P<0.05) were two independent risk factors for POCI in ischemic stroke patients.
Conclusion: Ischemic stroke patients with cervical spondylosis are more prone to POCI than those without cervical spondylosis. Hypertension is another identified risk factor for POCI in ischemic stroke patients. The occurrence of POCI should be highlighted for patients with cervical spondylosis.

Keywords: risk factors, vertebral artery stenosis, cervical osteophytes

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