Jenna Rolfs, DMSc, MPAS, PA-C
Stroke can be divided into two subgroups which include ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes. Ischemic strokes are the second highest cause of death worldwide and are associated with an increased risk of morbidity. An ischemic stroke is a blockage of the arterial blood vessel responsible for the supply of blood to the brain.Cardioembolic stroke is a type of ischemic stroke in which the blockage is caused by an embolus originating from the cardiovascular system and presents more acute and severe symptoms. Atrial fibrillation is the most common cause of cardioembolic stroke due to blood stasis creating a thrombus commonly in the left atrial appendage and embolizing to the brain.When a patient presents with stroke-like symptoms, they are evaluated to determine the type of stroke they are experiencing through neurovascular imaging, commonly using computed tomography (CT). Cardioembolic stroke is evaluated through transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE) and telemetry to evaluate for both electrical and structural changes to the heart that could have caused the stroke.After acute management of an ischemic stroke whether through medical management or surgical intervention, then secondary prevention is a significant portion of preventing the recurrence of a cardioembolic stroke.
Dunn CE. Cardioembolic Stroke: A Review. Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science. 2022; 4(3).
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