A cerebral embolism is a blood clot (thrombus) that starts from the heart or blood vessel where the clot originates and stops in an artery that leads to or rests within the brain. The result is occlusion of the vessel and obstruction of the flow of oxygen and blood to the brain tissue supplied by that artery.
Cerebral embolisms cause about 15–20% of all strokes and about one-quarter of all ischemic strokes. It occurs most frequently in patients who have known heart disease, including atrial fibrillation and other arrhythmias, valve disease, “mural thrombus” (a blood clot sitting in the left ventricle of the heart), or other conditions. It causes symptoms similar to those of thrombotic strokes, but the presentations of embolic strokes tend to be more abrupt and dramatic. These can include sudden onset of hemiplegia, sensory loss, facial weakness, cognitive deficits, or speech disturbance. Seizures or headaches are relatively common in...
References and Readings
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