Silent cortical strokes associated with atrial fibrillation

M Hara, T Ooie, K Yufu, Y Tsunematsu, T Kusakabe, M Ooga, T Saikawa, T Sakata
Clinical Cardiology 1995, 18 (10): 573-4
To clarify whether silent cortical strokes (SCS) could be a predictor of symptomatic stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF), 72 patients with AF (50 with chronic AF, 22 with paroxysmal AF) were studied. Patients with mitral stenosis, history of myocardial infarction, or dilated cardiomyopathy were excluded from this study. Using cranial magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), the patients were divided into those with SCS (23 patients, Group 1) and those without SCS (49 patients, Group 2). The incidence of symptomatic stroke was then compared between the two groups. Three patients (13%) in Group 1 developed symptomatic brain infarction; this is statistically significant (p < 0.05), compared with the patients in Group 2, none of whom experienced symptomatic stroke. We suggest that SCS is a predictor of symptomatic cerebral infarct in patients with AF. Therefore, it is thought to be important to diagnose SCS using cranial MRI or computed tomography and to keep patients with SCS under close surveillance.

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