Intracranial arterial calcification is highly prevalent in hemodialysis patients but does not associate with acute ischemic stroke

Albert Power, Kakit Chan, Ali Haydar, Mohamed Hamady, Tom Cairns, David Taube, Neill Duncan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Intracranial arterial calcification (IAC) is associated with ischemic stroke in the general population but this relationship has not been examined in hemodialysis patients. We examined the factors associated with IAC and its relationship with acute ischemic stroke in this population. We retrospectively studied 490 head computed tomographic scans from 2225 hemodialysis patients presenting with neurological symptoms at our center (October 2005-May 2009). Intracranial arterial calcification was graded using a validated scoring system. Multivariate regression was used to examine the factors associated with the presence of IAC, its severity, and its ability to predict acute ischemic stroke. Weibull's survival models analyzed the relationship between IAC severity and survival. Ninety-five percent of patients with ischemic stroke had IAC vs. 83% in the nonstroke group (P=0.02). Intracranial arterial calcification severity increased with age (P<0.001), hemodialysis vintage (P<0.001), serum phosphate (P<0.05), and major comorbidities. In patients with multiple computed tomographic scans during the study period, increased IAC severity at baseline was predictive of acute ischemic stroke (P=0.05) on logistic regression analysis. High-grade and not low-grade IAC was associated with worse survival (P=0.008). Intracranial arterial calcification is highly prevalent in hemodialysis patients, especially in those with acute ischemic stroke. Its severity is prognostically significant and associated with risk factors for vascular calcification and may confer a greater risk of acute ischemic stroke. The mechanisms underlying the high incidence of ischemic stroke in this patient group require further comprehensive study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)256-63
Number of pages8
JournalHemodialysis international. International Symposium on Home Hemodialysis
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2011

Bibliographical note

© 2011 The Authors. Hemodialysis International © 2011 International Society for Hemodialysis.


  • Brain Ischemia
  • Calcinosis
  • Cerebral Angiography
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Arterial Diseases
  • Ischemia
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Renal Dialysis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Stroke
  • Survival Analysis
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed


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