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Transesophageal echocardiography in patients with cryptogenic cerebral ischemia.


ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: In about one third of all patients with cerebral ischemia, no definite cause can be identified (cryptogenic stroke). In many patients with initially suspected cryptogenic stroke, however, a cardiogenic etiology can eventually be determined. Hence, the aim of this study was to describe the prevalence of abnormal echocardiographic findings in a large number of these patients. METHOD: Patients with cryptogenic cerebral ischemia (ischemic stroke, IS, and transient ischemic attack, TIA) were included. The initial work-up included a neurological examination, EEG, cCT, cMRT, 12-lead ECG, Holter-ECG, Doppler ultrasound of the extracranial arteries, and transthoracic echocardiography. A multiplane transeophageal echocardiography (TEE, including i.v. contrast medium application [Echovist], Valsalva maneuver) was performed in all patients RESULTS: 702 consecutive patients (380 male, 383 IS, 319 TIA, age 18-90 years) were included. In 52.6% of all patients, TEE examination revealed relevant findings. Overall, the most common findings in all patients were: patent foramen ovale (21.7%), previously undiagnosed valvular disease (15.8%), aortic plaques, aortic valve sclerosis, atrial septal aneurysms, regional myocardial dyskinesia, dilated left atrium and atrial septal defects. Older patients (> 55 years, n = 291) and patients with IS had more relevant echocardiographic findings than younger patients or patients with TIA, respectively (p = 0.002, p = 0.003). The prevalence rates of PFO or ASD were higher in younger patients (PFO: 26.8% vs. 18.0%, p = 0.005, ASD: 9.6% vs. 4.9%, p = 0.014). CONCLUSION: A TEE examination in cryptogenic stroke reveals contributing cardiogenic factors in about half of all patients. Younger patients had a higher prevalence of PFO, whereas older patients had more frequently atherosclerotic findings. Therefore, TEE examinations seem indicated in all patients with cryptogenic stroke - irrespective of age - because of specific therapeutic consequences.

SUBMITTER: Knebel F 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC2667401 | BioStudies | 2009-01-01T00:00:00Z

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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