Association between internal carotid artery calcifications detected as incidental findings and clinical characteristics associated with atherosclerosis: A dental volumetric tomography study

Niége Michelle Lazzari de Onofre, Mariana Boessio Vizzotto, Ana Márcia Viana Wanzeler, Priscila Fernanda da Silveira Tiecher, Nádia Assein Arús, Luis Ernesto Arriola Guillén, Heraldo Luís Dias da Silveira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

PURPOSE: To evaluate the presence of calcifications in the internal carotid artery (ICA) in cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT), and to verify the association of these findings with sex, age, dental condition, and risk factors associated with vascular disorders. METHODS: The CBCT scans used in this study were obtained from the database of a private dental clinic requested for the planning of rehabilitation with dental implants. The selection criteria were patients aged 40 years and above. Out of a pool of 1176 CBCT examinations, a total of 284 scans of adult patients were evaluated by two blinded observers. Data were collected from patients' medical records. RESULTS: ICA calcifications were present in 63.0% of the examinations. Most calcifications were in the intracranial pathway (166). Despite being present in a smaller number 57 (C1), extracranial calcifications were more severe. Spearman's ρ coefficients (rS) indicated that the number of missing teeth was directly associated with the presence of calcifications (p = 0.042) and severity (p = 0.020). The age variable also had a direct relationship with the presence of calcifications (p ≤ 0.0001), increasing its frequency and severity over the years. In addition, hypertension (p = 0.036) and use of antihypertensive drugs (p = 0.015) were directly associated. CONCLUSIONS: There is a high occurrence of ICA calcifications in CBCT as incidental findings in adult patients, and it is directly associated with age, number of missing teeth and hypertension.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)110045
Number of pages1
JournalEuropean journal of radiology
Volume145
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Atherosclerosis
  • Cone-beam computed tomography
  • Diagnosis
  • Internal carotid artery

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