Association of Annular Calcification and Aortic Valve Sclerosis With Brain Findings on Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Community Dwelling Older Adults

Department of Epidemiology and Medicine, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina 27157, USA.
Journal of the American College of Cardiology (Impact Factor: 16.5). 05/2011; 57(21):2172-80. DOI: 10.1016/j.jacc.2011.01.034
Source: PubMed


The objective of this study was to investigate the associations of mitral annular calcification, aortic annular calcification, and aortic valve sclerosis with covert magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-defined brain infarcts.
Clinically silent brain infarcts defined by MRI are associated with increased risk for cognitive decline, dementia, and future overt stroke. Left-sided cardiac valvular and annular calcifications are suspected as risk factors for clinical ischemic stroke.
A total of 2,680 CHS (Cardiovascular Health Study) participants without clinical histories of stroke or transient ischemic attack underwent brain MRI in 1992 and 1993, 1 to 2 years before echocardiographic exams (1994 to 1995).
The mean age of the participants was 74.5 ± 4.8 years, and 39.3% were men. The presence of any annular or valvular calcification (mitral annular calcification, aortic annular calcification, or aortic valve sclerosis), mitral annular calcification alone, or aortic annular calcification alone was significantly associated with a higher prevalence of covert brain infarcts in unadjusted analyses (p < 0.01 for all). In models adjusted for age, sex, race, body mass index, physical activity, creatinine, systolic blood pressure, total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, smoking, diabetes, coronary heart disease, and congestive heart failure, the presence of any annular or valve calcification remained associated with covert brain infarcts (risk ratio: 1.24; 95% confidence interval: 1.05 to 1.47). The degree of annular or valvular calcification severity showed a direct relation with the presence of covert MRI findings.
Left-sided cardiac annular and valvular calcifications are associated with covert MRI-defined brain infarcts. Further study is warranted to identify mechanisms and determine whether intervening in the progression of annular and valvular calcification could reduce the incidence of covert brain infarcts as well as the associated risk for cognitive impairment and future stroke.

Download full-text


Available from: Traci M Bartz, May 19, 2014
  • Source
    • "This is supported by work done by Rodriguez and colleagues in a community-based study of 2680 participants from the Cardiovascular Health Study who underwent MRI analysis. Participants, without prior history of stroke, with left-sided annular or valvular calcification had a 33% greater risk of covert brain infarcts.81 Coupled with other studies demonstrating the presence of brain infarcts in association with calcification of the aortic valve, this supports the association between valve disease and a higher risk of both stroke and cognitive decline.82–84 "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: As life expectancy lengthens, dementia is becoming a significant human condition in terms of its prevalence and cost to society worldwide. It is important in that context to understand the preventable and treatable causes of dementia. This article exposes the link between dementia and heart disease in all its forms, including coronary artery disease, myocardial infarction, atrial fibrillation, valvular disease, and heart failure. This article also explores the cardiovascular risk factors and emphasizes that several of them are preventable and treatable. In addition to medical therapies, the lifestyle changes that may be useful in retarding the onset of dementia are also summarized.
    Preview · Article · Apr 2013 · Clinical Epidemiology
  • Source
    • "Notably, the combined presence of AVS and MAC was more strongly associated with an increased risk of all-cause and CVD mortality than the presence of either item alone. Collectively, the results of this study complement and expand previous observations on the value of AVS and MAC for predicting mortality both in the general population and in other nondiabetic high-risk patient populations (1,4–9,18). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To examine the association of aortic valve sclerosis (AVS) and mitral annulus calcification (MAC) with all-cause and cardiovascular mortality in type 2 diabetic individuals. We retrospectively analyzed the data from 902 type 2 diabetic outpatients, who had undergone a transthoracic echocardiography for clinical reasons during the years 1992-2007. AVS and MAC were diagnosed by echocardiography, and a heart valve calcium (HVC) score was calculated by summing up the AVS and MAC variables. The study outcomes were all-cause and cardiovascular mortality. At baseline, 477 (52.9%) patients had no heart valves affected (HVC-0), 304 (33.7%) had one valve affected (HVC-1), and 121 (13.4%) had both valves affected (HVC-2). During a mean follow-up of 9 years, 137 (15.2%) patients died, 78 of them from cardiovascular causes. Compared with patients with HVC-0, those with HVC-2 had the highest risk of all-cause and cardiovascular mortality, whereas those with HVC-1 had an intermediate risk (P < 0.0001 by the log-rank test). After adjustment for sex, age, BMI, systolic blood pressure, diabetes duration, A1C, LDL cholesterol, estimated glomerular filtration rate, smoking, history of myocardial infarction, and use of antihypertensive and lipid-lowering drugs, the hazard ratio of all-cause mortality was 2.3 (95% CI 1.1-4.9; P < 0.01) for patients with HVC-1 and 9.3 (3.9-17.4; P < 0.001) for those with HVC-2. Similar results were found for cardiovascular mortality. Our findings indicate that AVS and MAC, singly or in combination, are independently associated with all-cause and cardiovascular mortality in type 2 diabetic patients.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2012 · Diabetes care
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Purpose: Gentamicin is a widely employed antibiotic, but may reduce calcium uptake by eukaryotic cells. This study was conducted to determine whether gentamicin reduces calcification by porcine aortic valvular interstitial cells (pAVICs) grown in 2D culture, which is a common model for calcific aortic valve disease (CAVD). Methods and results: The presence of gentamicin (up to 0.2 mM) in the medium of pAVICs cultured for 8 days significantly lowered calcification and alkaline phosphatase content in a dose-dependent manner compared to pAVICs cultured without gentamicin. Gentamicin also significantly increased cell proliferation and apoptosis at concentrations of 0.1-0.2 mM. Next, gentamicin was applied to previously calcified pAVIC cultures (grown for 8 days) to determine whether it could stop or reverse the calcification process. Daily application of gentamicin for 8 additional days significantly reduced calcification to below the pre-calcification levels. Conclusions: These results confirm that gentamicin should be used cautiously with in vitro studies of calcification, and suggest that gentamicin may have the ability to reverse calcification by pAVICs. Given the nephrotoxicity and ototoxicity of this antibiotic, its clinical potential for the treatment of calcification in heart valves is limited. However, further investigation of the pathways through which gentamicin alters calcium uptake by valvular cells may provide insight into novel therapies for CAVD.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2013
Show more