2004 Volume 45 Issue 6 Pages 999-1005
It remains controversial as to whether mitral annular calcification (MAC) is an independent predictor of stroke. The aim of this study was to investigate whether there is an association between the presence of MAC and stroke or whether MAC is one of the predictive factors of carotid atheroma and therefore is a secondary risk for stroke.
Fifty-six patients who had MAC demonstrated by echocardiography underwent carotid artery duplex sonography and computed brain tomography with various causes were enrolled in the study. They were compared with 58 control patients without MAC. MAC was defined as a dense, localized, highly reflective area larger than 5 mm at the junction of the atrioventricular groove and posterior mitral valve leaflet. Carotid artery stenosis was defined as lumen diameter narrowing exceeding 60%. Cerebral ischemia was detected by spiral tomography and was classified as infarction and lacunae.
A significant association was found between the presence of MAC and carotid atheroma (P = 0.011), MAC and hyperechogen plaque (P = 0.034), and MAC and stenosis (P = 0.008). There was an association between the presence of carotid atheroma and cerebral infarction (P = 0.007). Logistic regression analysis revealed hypertension and diabetes mellitus were independent risk factors (P = 0.030, P = 0.034, respectively) for developing carotid atheroma. MAC was an independent factor for carotid stenosis (P = 0.029).
MAC may not be a significant causative factor for stroke, but may be a secondary risk factor. A significant association between the presence of MAC and carotid artery atherosclerotic disease may explain the high prevalence of stroke in patients with MAC.