BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Calcification in the coronary arteries has been correlated with significant vessel stenosis. The predictive value of calcification within the carotid siphon has not been characterized; however, stenosis in the carotid siphon is potentially important in determining management of patients with ipsilateral carotid bifurcation stenosis. The purpose of this study was to determine optimal parameters for assessing carotid siphon calcification on head CT scans and to compare the CT findings with angiographic results. METHODS: We performed a retrospective review of patients referred for diagnostic carotid arteriography. Those patients who also had undergone a head CT study at our institution were selected. The CT scans and angiograms of 64 patients (128 vessels) were reviewed, carotid siphon calcification on CT scans was characterized on brain and bone windows as mild, moderate, or severe. Comparison was then made with angiographic findings. RESULTS: The sensitivity and specificity of CT for depicting greater than 50% angiographic stenosis in the carotid siphon were 86% and 98%, respectively, for bone windows and 100% and 0%, respectively, for brain windows. The positive predictive value (PPV) for a stenosis of greater than 50% as evidenced by severe calcification was 86% on bone windows and 11% on brain windows. The PPV for mild and moderate calcification on bone windows was 2.5% and 0%, respectively. CONCLUSION: Severe CT calcification in the carotid siphon as characterized on bone windows correlates with a carotid siphon stenosis of greater than 50% as determined angiographically. Therefore, the identification of severe calcification offers a potential noninvasive method for identifying stenosis of the carotid siphon. This information may be essential in determining management and prognosis for patients with carotid bifurcation stenosis.
|Number of pages
|American Journal of Neuroradiology
|Published - Mar 1 1999
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Clinical Neurology