Background and Purpose: Cardiac multidetector computed tomography (MDCT) is less dependent upon the patient's condition and may be valuable in the diagnosis of embolic sources when the patient's cooperation is limited due to a neurologic deficit. However, its role has never been validated in acute stroke patients whose stroke mechanism is assumed to be embolic. Methods: Consecutive patients who were admitted with acute ischemic stroke from May 1, 2007 to November 30, 2007 were included in this study. Inclusion criteria were (1) any cardiac evidence of high-risk embolic sources for cerebral embolism, or (2) radiological or (3) clinical evidence of embolic stroke. All patients underwent transthoracic echocardiography first, and then cardiac MDCT or transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) was attempted, if possible. The results and feasibility of cardiac MDCT and TEE were compared. Results: One hundred and forty-three patients met the inclusion criteria. Cardiac MDCT was performed in 124 patients (86.7%), TEE in 83 patients (57.3%), whereas 75 patients (52.4%) underwent both studies. Renal insufficiency for cardiac MDCT and lack of cooperation for TEE were found to be the most impeding factors. Among the patients with both evaluations, cardiac MDCT identified a high-risk intracardiac embolic source in 8 and an extracardiac source in 20, while TEE found an intracardiac source in 1 and an extracardiac source in 7. Statistically significant differences were found with respect to detecting cardioembolic sources and high-risk aortic atheroma. Conclusions: Cardiac MDCT is a feasible and accurate diagnostic tool for embolic sources in an acute stroke setting.
- Acute ischemic stroke
- Cardiac multidetector computed tomography
- Transesophageal echocardiography
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine