Sixty-five consecutive patients with recent unequivocal TIA (33) or stroke (32), but non-diagnostic arteriograms, had two-dimensional echocardiograms (2DE) and electrocardiograms (ECG) to determine the incidence of cardiac abnormalities which could cause embolic stroke. Abnormalities were classified according to increasing probability of causing an embolic event: Non-specific, possible emboligenic abnormality (PEA) or definite emboligenic abnormality (EA). Although 2DE was abnormal in 33 patients (51%), and ECG in 38 (59%), many abnormalities were nonspecific. Only four patients (6%) had EA on ECG and two (3%) on 2DE. Since one patient had EA on both tests, 2DE identified only one patient (mitral valve prolapse) not already identified by ECG. All patients with EA had a prior history of cardiac disease. PEA was present on ECG in 11 patients (17%), and on 2DE in 25 (38%). There was no correlation between age, CT results, or neurologic symptoms commonly associated with embolic stroke and the presence of EA or PEA on ECG or 2DE. Although TIA and stroke patients with negative arteriograms have a high incidence of abnormalities on ECG and 2DE, the percentage of patients with EA is low, and cardiac history and ECG identify most patients. 2DE provides little additional information.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Neurology
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Advanced and Specialized Nursing