Cardioembolic or Atherothrombotic Stroke: How to decide which is the most likely cause?


There are no absolute criteria for the diagnosis of cardioembolic or atherothrombotic stroke. 

To identify the most likely causative subtype for each patient it is necessary to integrate the clinical stroke features and the diagnostic test results: the main criterion in the differential diagnosis between cardioembolic and atherothrombotic stroke is the presence of a potential source of cardiac or atherosclerotic embolism, in the absence of a significant artery or cardiac disease. When coexisting heart disease (such as atrial fibrillation) and artery disease (such as carotid hemodynamic plaque), the etiologic diagnosis of ischemic stroke is difficult.

In this lesson the clinical features and the diagnostic tests findings (included the echocolor Doppler diagnosis) that support cardioembolic or atherothrombotic stroke are reported.



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