Background: Coagulation disorders are seen in cancer patients, but it is not clear whether cancer predisposes stroke patients to unique characteristics. The aim of the study was to investigate risk factors, pattern,etiology and outcome in stroke patients with cancer.
Methods: A retrospective review of all ischemic stroke (IS) patients with cancer (n = 56) admitted to Bankstown-Lidcombe Hospital, Sydney, Australia, between January 1999 and December 2004 was conducted and comparison made to age- and gender-matched noncancer IS patients admitted to the same hospital during the same period.
Results: Vascular risk factors and stroke pattern were comparable in cancer and noncancer groups. Post-stroke thrombotic episodes (myocardial infarction, deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary emboli) were more common in the cancer group than in the noncancer group (11 vs. 0%, p = 0.031). Depression was also more common in the cancer group than in the noncancer group (14 vs. 2%, p = 0.039). There was a tendency for more patients in the cancer group to die in hospital (30 vs. 14%, p = 0.078).
Conclusions: Coagulation disorders were more likely to be seen in stroke cancer patients, and patients with cancer tended to have a higher in-hospital post-stroke mortality. Larger sample size studies may identify further differences in the characteristics of stroke patients with cancer.