Brain infarction severity differs according to cardiac or arterial embolic source

S. G. Timsit, Ralph L. Sacco, J. P. Mohr, M. A. Foulkes, T. K. Tatemichi, P. A. Wolf, T. R. Price, D. B. Hier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

95 Scopus citations


We compared clinical and radiologic features between 246 cardiac embolism (EMB) and 66 arterial embolie (tandem arterial pathology [TAP]) patients selected from the 1,273 patients with cerebral infarction in the Stroke Data Bank. Diagnostic definitions accounted for the increased frequency of cardiac disease among patients with EMB compared with TAP (78.4% versus 29.3%), while transient ischemic attacks (32.3% versus 13.1%) and carotid artery bruit (15.1% versus 3.3%) were more prevalent in TAP than in EMB. Multiple logistic regression differentiated TAP and EMB further. The probability of a TAP diagnosis was increased by the CT finding of a superficial infarct alone (odds ratio [OR] = 4.6; 95% CI = 1.5 to 13.7) or by a higher admission hematocrit. The probability of EMB was greater in patients with an initial decreased consciousness (OR = 39.2; 95% CI = 4.0 to 381.3) or with an abnormal first CT (OR = 3.2; 95% CI = 1.2 to 8.6). These findings indicate that the two infarct subtypes differ in the location and extent of the cortical infarction, which argues for a smaller particle size, with smaller and more distal infarction in embolism from an arterial source compared with cardiogenic embolism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)728-733
Number of pages6
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1993
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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