Fatal or severely disabling cerebral infarction during hospitalization for stroke or transient ischemic attack

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Abstract

Six (1%) of 578 patients admitted for cerebral infarction or transient ischemic attack (TIA) suffered a fatal or severely disabling in-hospital cerebral infarction following a period of stabilization or improvement lasting more than 1 day. These infarctions were characterized by the sudden onset of stupor or coma and subsequent development of transtentorial herniation due to carotid or middle cerebral artery territory infarction, or widespread brain-stem infarction due to basilar occlusion. Only one patient survived. Four patients had largevessel disease documented by Doppler, angiography, or at autopsy. Each of these six infarcts occurred during the morning hours, 4-9 days after the initial event, 3-8 days after initiation of intravenous heparin, and within 4-8 h after intravenous heparin had been discontinued. No coagulation abnormalities were documented. We believe that these cases indicate that among patients admitted for cerebral infarction or TIA, fatal or severely disabling in-hospital cerebral infarction after a period of stabilization or improvement may occur in patients having an initially mild to moderate clinical deficit, that those suffering large artery disease may be at greater risk, and that there may be a relationship between heparin withdrawal and cerebral infarction in some patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)306-309
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Neurology
Volume237
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 1990
Externally publishedYes

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Keywords

  • Cerebral infarction
  • Cerebrovascular disease
  • Coma
  • Heparin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

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