, Volume 60, Issue 4, pp 357–363 | Cite as

Impact of intracranial artery calcification on cerebral hemodynamic changes

  • Xiaohong Wu
  • Li Wang
  • Jingxin Zhong
  • Jacky Ko
  • Lin Shi
  • Yannie Soo
  • Thomas Leung
  • Ka Sing Wong
  • Jill Abrigo
  • Xiangyan Chen
Diagnostic Neuroradiology



Intracranial artery calcification (IAC) has been demonstrated to be correlated with ischemic stroke, cognitive decline, and other vascular events by accumulating evidences from both Western and Asian populations. The proposed study aimed to investigate its potential mechanisms by evaluating the blood flow velocity and pulsatility index (PI) of cerebral arteries.


Consecutive ischemic stroke patients admitted to the Prince of Wales Hospital were recruited after excluding those with atrial fibrillation or poor temporal window. Quantitative measurements of IAC severity were assessed on brain CT scans. Transcranial Doppler (TCD) ultrasonography was performed to evaluate the blood flow velocity of the middle cerebral artery (MCA) and vertebral-basilar artery (VBA).


In total, 318 patients were analyzed. Spearman’s correlation analysis demonstrated both high MCA systolic flow velocity and high MCA PI were correlated with IAC Agatston score, p < 0.001 individually. Similar correlation was also found between IAC Agatston score and high VBA velocity/high VBA PI, p ≤ 0.001 individually. Multiple logistic regression analysis showed IAC Agatston score was an independent risk factor for high MCA velocity (OR 1.533; 95% CI 1.235–1.903), high VBA velocity (OR 1.964; 95% CI 1.381–2.794), and high VBA PI (OR 1.200; 95% CI 1.016–1.418), respectively.


Heavier IAC might cause generalized artery flow velocity changes and increased pulsatility index, which may indicate high resistance within cerebrovasculature.


Intracranial arterial calcification Ischemic stroke Computed tomography cerebral blood flow velocity Pulsatility index 


Compliance with ethical standards


This study was funded by the Health and Medical Research Fund (HMRF) (Project Code: 11120161).

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in the studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the Chinese University of Hong Kong Clinical Research Ethics Committee and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xiaohong Wu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Li Wang
    • 2
  • Jingxin Zhong
    • 3
  • Jacky Ko
    • 4
  • Lin Shi
    • 2
  • Yannie Soo
    • 2
  • Thomas Leung
    • 2
  • Ka Sing Wong
    • 2
  • Jill Abrigo
    • 4
  • Xiangyan Chen
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Neurology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Shenzhen UniversityShenzhen Second People’s HospitalShenzhenPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of Medicine and TherapeuticsChinese University of Hong Kong - Prince of Wales HospitalShatinChina
  3. 3.The Cerebrovascular Disease CenterGuangdong Province Traditional Medicine HospitalGuangzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  4. 4.Department of Imaging and Interventional RadiologyChinese University of Hong KongShatinChina

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