Infarcts with a cardiac source of embolism in the NINDS Stroke Data Bank: Neurologic examination

S. J. Kittner, C. M. Sharkness, M. A. Sloan, T. R. Price, J. M. Dambrosia, S. Tuhrim, P. A. Wolf, J. P. Mohr, D. B. Hier, L. R. Caplan

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Abstract

To gain insight into neurologic signs relevant to the diagnosis of cardiogenic embolism, we analyzed data from 1,290 patients with cerebral infarcts in the NINDS Stroke Data Bank. Based solely on the presence of potential cardiac sources of embolism, we divided patients into groups of high (N = 250), medium (N = 167), and low (N = 873) risk of a cardiogenic mechanism for their stroke. Diminished level of consciousness was highly associated with the presence of a cardiac source of embolism. Of the four primarily cortical deficits assessed, three (visual field abnormalities, neglect, and aphasia) showed a highly significant graded relationship to the cardiac risk groups. For the fourth cortical deficit (other nonlanguage cognitive functions), this relationship did not attain statistical significance. Conversely, hemiparesis without sensory or cortical deficits had a strong inverse association to the presence of a cardiac source of embolism. This inverse association was weaker for sensorimotor strokes and nonexistent for pure sensory strokes. Although some neurologic findings had highly significant associations with the presence of a cardiac source of embolism, their predictive value for an embolic source was low.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)299-302
Number of pages4
JournalNeurology
Volume42
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1992

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