Santosh R Patil
Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, College of Dentistry, Al-Jouf University, Skaka, Al-Jouf, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Aim: The aim of the present study was to determine the prevalence of carotid artery calcification (CAC) in postmenopausal females on panoramic radiographs and to study the correlation of CAC with possible risk factors such as hypertension, osteoporosis, and hypercholesterolemia, among others. Materials and Methods: Totally, 1214 panoramic radiographs of postmenopausal females attending the Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology were examined for the presence of CAC. The subjects were also assessed for the presence of various risk factors and the possible correlation to CAC. Statistical analysis was done using Chi-square test, and P < 0.05 was considered to be statistically significant. Results: Two hundred and seventy-eight postmenopausal females presented with CAC and a prevalence of 22.9%. These patients presented with a medical history that was laden with risk factors, of which hypertension (71.2%) was the most common risk factor. Hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, osteoporosis, and obesity were significantly (P < 0.05) related to the presence of CAC while age, diabetes, and smoking were not significantly (P > 0.05) related to CAC. Conclusion: The incidental finding of CAC on panoramic radiographs during the routine dental examination can provide life-saving information for the identification of postmenopausal females who are at a higher risk for stroke. Oral clinicians should, therefore, record a proper medical history of such patients to identify the atherogenic risk factors and refer such patients to the physician for careful evaluation and conformation of the disease.
Keywords: Carotid artery calcification, hypertension, panoramic radiography, postmenopausal females.