Medical complications after stroke

Lancet Neurol. 2010 Jan;9(1):105-18. doi: 10.1016/S1474-4422(09)70266-2.


Patients who have had a stroke are susceptible to many complications. These individuals commonly have comorbidities such as hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, or other ailments that increase the risks of systemic medical complications during stroke recovery. However, several complications can arise as a direct consequence of the brain injury itself, from the ensuing disabilities or immobility, or from stroke-related treatments. These events have a substantial effect on the final outcome of patients with stroke and often impede neurological recovery. Cardiac complications, pneumonias, venous thromboembolism, fever, pain, dysphagia, incontinence, and depression are particularly common after a stroke and usually require specific interventions for their prevention and treatment. However, there are few data to guide the management of these complications. Systematic investigations are therefore needed to further study the effects of medical complications on stroke recovery and to improve interventions for the prevention and treatment of these events.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Stroke / complications*
  • Stroke / pathology
  • Stroke / therapy