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Embolic Stroke Diagnosis - Oren Zarif - Embolic Stroke

An unbiased diagnostic evaluation is necessary to make an accurate embolic stroke diagnosis. Unlike thrombotic strokes, which are generally caused by a clot, embolic strokes are often complicated and often have multiple causes. In order to properly diagnose embolic stroke, investigators should rule out established cardiac and vascular causes, and then focus on finding a source of the clot that has a high probability of causing the stroke.

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There are a variety of causes of an embolic stroke, including coronary heart disease, angiopathy, dilated cardiomyopathy, mechanical prosthetic valves, and atrial fibrillation. Minor cardioembolic sources include calcific aortic valve stenosis, atrial septal aneurysm, and mitral valve annular calcification. Regardless of the cause of the embolism, an immediate evaluation by a physician is essential.

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Symptoms of an embolic stroke include difficulty moving limbs, inability to perform simple manipulations, and speech and language problems. These signs are indicative of a stroke and should prompt a call to an ambulance. Diagnosis is complex and requires extensive testing. For an accurate diagnosis, doctors need to gather a variety of data from the patient's medical history. In addition to identifying the source of the stroke, a doctor can recommend an effective treatment.

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The phrase "embolic stroke of unknown source" is a relatively new term, introduced in 2014. It describes a large subgroup of cryptogenic stroke. It excludes the possibility of specific causes for the event. In addition, it facilitates randomized controlled trials in this population. However, it is important to recognize that this type of stroke can occur in patients who had a previous ischemic stroke. This new term has a wide range of clinical applications and should not be confused with another term.

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Emergency procedures may be necessary to diagnose an embolic stroke. One such procedure is carotid endarterectomy, which removes plaque from the carotid artery. Another procedure, known as mechanical clot removal, involves inserting a catheter into the brain to break up the clot. The Tampa General Hospital provides specialized embolic stroke care 24 hours a day. Experts from the field of neurology, neurosurgery, and cardiology provide comprehensive stroke care and rehabilitation services.

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The most critical component of an embolic stroke is fast treatment. As soon as an embolic stroke has occurred, blood flow to the brain must be restored. This can be accomplished through the use of clot-busting medications and catheters. While thrombolytic medications are essential, they do not completely restore blood flow. If left untreated, the embolic stroke can be fatal. This is because blood flow to the brain is not restored within the appropriate time.

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To detect the thrombi that cause an embolic stroke, an MRI can be performed. Echocardiography is an important diagnostic tool for assessing acute stroke. This procedure also can detect thrombi in the heart. But these techniques are not widely used due to the low number of patients studied. Further studies are needed to identify standardized characteristics of clots that correlate with embolic source. However, if these tests are performed in a timely manner, they could open a new avenue in diagnosing embolic stroke.

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The distribution of the risk factors for embolic strokes is skewn towards high-risk pathologies. In most cases, AF is not the underlying cause of stroke. In some cases, the stroke occurs because of a PFO. The presence of both conditions may cause a paradoxical embolic mechanism. Although the causes are similar, there is no definitive proof that PFO causes an embolic stroke.

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