Therapy Implications of Transthoracic Echocardiography in Acute Ischemic Stroke Patients

T. T. de Abreu, S. Mateus, J. Correia
2005 Stroke  
and Purpose-Stroke is the third leading cause of death in most Western countries. Cardioembolism might be responsible for 15% to 20% of ischemic strokes. Although atrial fibrillation can be diagnosed by electrocardiography, the remaining causes of cardioembolic stroke are diagnosed by echocardiography. Recent recommendations on the management of acute ischemic stroke fail to consider echocardiography as an essential test in all patients. Methods-We conducted a prospective observational study,
more » ... rforming transthoracic echocardiography on all patients admitted in our hospital with ischemic stroke, in sinus rhythm, from January 7, 2002, to October 16, 2003. Findings compatible with heart diseases that would indicate anticoagulation as beneficial were identified. Results-Of the 853 patients admitted with ischemic stroke, transthoracic echocardiography was performed on 846 (99.2%). Of the 435 patients with ischemic stroke, in sinus rhythm, 37.2% had findings indicating anticoagulation as beneficial: dilated cardiopathy (19.1%), previous anterior wall myocardial infarction (6.2%), left ventricular systolic dysfunction with an ejection fraction Ͻ35% (3.7%), mitral valve stenosis with enlarged left atria (1.6%), intracardiac masses (0.5%), valvular prosthesis (0.2%), and Ͼ1 abnormality (5.5%). Conclusions-In our study, transthoracic echocardiography had therapy implications in 37.2% of ischemic stroke patients in sinus rhythm. Transthoracic echocardiography should be considered an essential test in all ischemic stroke patients in sinus rhythm. (Stroke. 2005;36:1565-1566.)
doi:10.1161/01.str.0000170636.08554.49 pmid:15947277 fatcat:tbs7xz4pwrdbnntykhdlbvpqne