Haemodynamic stroke is a type of ischaemic stroke that is caused by hypoperfusion rather than by embolism or local vasculopathy. It can be caused by systemic diseases such as heart failure or hypotension, but also by severe obstruction of the carotid or vertebral arteries. Patients with haemodynamic stroke or transient ischaemic attack might show specific clinical features that distinguish them from patients with embolism or local small-vessel disease. Ancillary investigations of cerebral perfusion can show whether blood flow to the brain is compromised and provide important prognostic information. Management of patients who have hypoperfusion as the major cause of ischaemic stroke or as a contributing factor is hampered by the lack of clinical trials. Treatment aimed at increasing cerebral blood flow might be considered in selected patients on the basis of information from case series. Further research is needed to define criteria for the diagnosis of haemodynamic stroke and to investigate treatment options in controlled studies.
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