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Stroke secondary to cardiogenic embolism

  • Alternative Names

    Stroke secondary to atrial fibrillation; Cardioembolic stroke


    Symptoms of stroke occur suddenly and include:

    • Numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or leg (especially on one side of the body)
    • Tingling or other abnormal sensations
    • Confusion, trouble speaking, or understanding speech
    • Problems seeing out of one or both eyes
    • Dizziness
    • Loss of coordination and balance, which can cause trouble walking
    • Severe headache

    Other symptoms may include:

    • Vertigo (abnormal sensation of movement)
    • Swallowing difficulties
    • Personality changes
    • Mood and emotion changes
    • Urinary incontinence (lack of control over bladder)
    • Lack of control over the bowels
    • Sleepiness,stuporous, lethary
    • Loss of consciousness
    • Coma

    Signs and tests

    A physical exam may reveal the following:

    • Changes in vision or visual fields
    • Clots in the retina of the eye
    • Changes in reflexes including abnormal reflexes or abnormal extent of "normal" reflexes
    • Abnormal eye movements
    • Muscle weakness
    • Decreased sensation

    The pulse may be irregular. Abnormal sounds may be heard when listening to the heart with a stethoscope. There may be signs of splinter hemorrhages.

    Tests include:

    • Head CT scan
    • MRI of head, MRA of the head
    • ECG showing arrhythmia, such as atrial fibrillation
    • Echocardiogram
    • Transcranial Doppler (ultrasound of the head)