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This study was conducted to determine the yield of transesophageal echocardiographic findings in a consecutive series of patients with stroke and transient ischemic attack, with and without carotid stenosis, and to estimate the recurrent stroke risk associated with specific echocardiographic findings.Transesophageal echocardiography has a high yield for identification of potential sources of cardiac embolism in patients with cerebral ischemia; however, the clinical significance of the most commonly detected abnormalities is uncertain.We evaluated 145 consecutively admitted patients with stroke or transient ischemic attack with both transesophageal echocardiography and carotid ultrasound. Patients were followed up prospectively for a mean duration of 18 months to document the rate of recurrent cerebral ischemia.Transesophageal echocardiography detected at least one potential cardiac source of embolism in 45% of the patients. Atrial septal aneurysm and interatrial shunt were detected more frequently in patients who did not have a significant carotid stenosis that could account for their ischemic event. During follow-up, a higher rate of recurrent stroke or transient ischemic attack occurred in patients with positive transesophageal echocardiographic findings, particularly atrial septal aneurysm, interatrial shunt and left atrial thrombus.These data support recent studies that suggest that atrial septal aneurysm and interatrial shunts may be a significant source of cardioembolic stroke. Further studies are needed to clarify the optimal management of patients with these abnormalities.
View details for Web of Science ID A1994PH37400013
View details for PubMedID 8195520