Due to reversal blood flow in the diastolic phase, outpouchings at the aortic isthmus may carry the risk of thrombus formation and subsequent thromboembolism. The objective was to evaluate the association between aortic ductus diverticula (ADDs) and ischemic brain alterations in cerebral magnetic resonance imaging.
A retrospective analysis of 218 patients who received both a dedicated computed tomography angiography of the thoracic aorta and a brain magnetic resonance imaging was performed. Two radiologists independently reviewed all examinations for the presence of ADD as well as ischemic alterations of the brain. The association between this anatomical variant and ischemic brain alterations was evaluated by univariate and bivariate logistic regression analyses.
ADDs were identified/present in 35 of 218 patients (16%). Ischemic brain alterations were found in 57% of patients (20/35) with an ADD and in 42% of the control group (77/183, P = 0.1). The presence of an ADD did not prove to be an independent risk factor for ischemic brain alterations after multivariate adjustment (odds ratio = 1.7, 95% confidence interval = 0.72–3.96, P = 0.225).
In the present study, ADDs were not significantly associated with ischemic brain alterations. Therefore, ADDs seem to be an innocent bystander with respect to the pathogenesis of ischemic brain alterations.