Objectives - Concurrence of coronary atherosclerotic lesions and intracranial aneurysms has been pointed out in several postmortem and clinical studies. However, the relative risk for intracranial aneurysms in patients with ischaemic heart disease remains uncertain. The aim of this study is to elucidate clinically whether ischaemic heart disease is a risk factor for intracranial aneurysms. Methods - Between October 1993 and May 1995, 84 patients with ischaemic heart disease with angiographically established coronary artery stenoses who had no history of stroke (ischaemic heart disease group; men:women = 58:26, mean (SD) age = 61.1 (9.6) years) and 200 age matched subjects with minor neurological disorders who had no history of ischaemic heart disease (control group; men:women = 117:83, mean (SD) age = 62.0 (9.2) years) were screened with magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) for the presence of unruptured intracranial aneurysms. For all MRA positive patients, selective angiography was then undertaken. Results - In the ischaemic heart disease group, the frequency of unruptured intracranial aneurysms established angiographically was 3.4% for men and 15.4% for women, compared with 2.6% and 3.6% respectively in the control group. Multiple logistic regression analyses disclosed that ischaemic heart disease was a significant and independent predictor for intracranial aneurysms in women. Conclusions - These results suggest that in women ischaemic heart disease is a risk factor for intracranial aneurysms. Coexistence of intracranial aneurysms should be suspected in women patients with ischaemic heart disease.
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