Hippocampal calcification on brain CT: prevalence and risk factors in a cerebrovascular cohort

the DUST study group

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Objectives: Recently, hippocampal calcification as observed on brain CT examinations was identified in over 20% of people over 50 years of age and a relation between hippocampal calcification and cognitive decline was shown. We determined the prevalence and investigated the vascular risk factors of hippocampal calcification in patients with cerebrovascular disease. Methods: Hippocampal calcification was scored bilaterally on presence and severity on CT examinations in a cohort of 1130 patients with (suspected) acute ischaemic stroke. Multivariable logistic regression analysis, adjusting for age and gender as well as adjusting for multiple cardiovascular disease risk factors, was used to determine risk factors for hippocampal calcification. Results: Hippocampal calcification was present in 381 (34%) patients. Prevalence increased with age from 8% below 40 to 45% at 80 years and older. In multivariable logistic regression analysis, age per decile (OR 1.41 [95% CI 1.26–1.57], p < 0.01), hypertension (OR 0.74 [95% CI 0.56–0.99], p = 0.049), diabetes mellitus (OR 1.57 [95% CI 1.10–2.25], p = 0.01) and hyperlipidaemia (OR 1.63 [95% CI 1.20–2.22], p < 0.01) were significantly associated with hippocampal calcification. Conclusions: Hippocampal calcification was a frequent finding on CT in this cohort of stroke patients and was independently positively associated with hyperlipidaemia and diabetes mellitus, suggesting an atherosclerotic origin. Key Points: • Hippocampal calcification is prevalent in over 30% of cerebrovascular disease patients. • Prevalence increases from 8% below 40 to 45% over 80 years. • Hippocampal calcification is associated with cardiovascular risk factors hyperlipidaemia and diabetes mellitus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3811-3818
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Radiology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2018

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