For years we have known that patients with calcified carotid artery have an increased risk of strokes. Well, recently in the “triple O” journal (Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology, Oral Radiology) noted that incidental observation of these calcifications could identify patients in need for further assessment and possible treatment.
With all the “negatives” that we hear about X-rays in the media, it is important for clinicians to point out the “positives” to obtaining X-ray imaging. We obviously always practice the principle of “ALARA” (acronym for As Low As Reasonably Achievable) but X-rays also sometimes indicated to perform surgery. And sometimes as a result we may diagnose an unknow tumor or cyst in the jaw…and now possibly carotic calcification.
Here is a link to the article: http://www.oooojournal.net/article/S2212-4403(13)00347-7/abstract