Background Mitral annular calcification (MAC) is associated with risk of stroke. This study aimed to define the morphological and functional characteristics of MAC that are related to stroke. Methods A total of 460 subjects with MAC from transthoracic echocardiography in a single center from 2012 to 2016 was retrospectively reviewed. Subjects were classified into two groups according to history of stroke [Group 1 (n = 366): without stroke; Group 2 (n = 94): with stroke]. Morphological and functional features of MAC on echocardiogram were scored from 0 to 3 according to MAC mobility, presence of echodense mass with central echolucencies in the periannular region suggesting caseous necrosis, and functional stenosis. Results Significantly more patients in group 2 were men and had history of diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemia, atrial fibrillation, or infective endocarditis. Although MAC thickness and extent did not differ between the two groups, group 2 showed a considerably higher MAC score than group 1 (0.50 ± 0.77 vs. 0.23 ±0.52 p<0.001) as a result of the higher prevalence of each component in group 2 [mobility (22 vs. 11%, p = 0.003), echodense mass with central areas of echolucencies suggesting caseous necrosis (23 vs. 7%, p<0.001), and functional mitral stenosis (12 vs. 7%, p = 0.042)]. On logistic regression analysis, MAC score was independently associated with stroke and showed significant incremental value to demographic factors and comorbidities in association with stroke in a consecutive manner. Conclusions In conclusion, morphological and functional characteristics of MAC had incremental value in association with stroke over traditional risk factors. MAC score consisting of MAC mobility, typical echodense mass with central echolucencies suggesting caseous necrosis, and functional mitral stenosis was independently associated with stroke. MAC with high-risk features may act as a source of stroke or more potent composite surrogate markers for stroke-related risk factors.
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