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, 16 (1), 66-71

Electrocardiographic Abnormalities in Acute Cerebrovascular Events in Patients With/Without Cardiovascular Disease


Electrocardiographic Abnormalities in Acute Cerebrovascular Events in Patients With/Without Cardiovascular Disease

Mansoureh Togha et al. Ann Indian Acad Neurol.


Objectives: Electrocardiographic (ECG) changes are reported frequently after acute strokes. It seems that cardiovascular effects of strokes are modulated by concomitant or pre-existent cardiac diseases, and are also related to the type of cerebrovascular disease and its localization. We aimed to determine the pattern of ECG changes associated with pathophysiologic categories of acute stroke among patients with/without cardiovascular disease and to determine if specific ECG changes are related to the location of the lesion.

Materials and methods: The electrocardiographic records of 361 patients with acute stroke were studied to assess the relative frequencies of ECG abnormalities among the pathophysiologic categories of stroke.

Results: In the present study, the most common ECG abnormalities associated with stroke were T-wave abnormalities, prolonged QTc interval and arrhythmias, which were respectively found in 39.9%, 32.4%, and 27.1% of the stroke patients and 28.9%, 30.7%, and 16.2 of the patients with no primary cardiac disease. We observed that other ECG changes comprising pathologic Q- wave, ST-segment depression, ST-segment elevation, and prominent U wave may also occur in selected or non-selected stroke patients; thereby simulate an acute myocardial injury. We observed an increased number of patients with abnormal T-wave and posterior fossa bleedings and more rhythm disturbances for ischemic lesions, localized in the anterior fossa.

Conclusion: Ischemia-like ECG changes and arrhythmias are frequently seen in stroke patients, even in those with no history or signs of primary heart disease, which support a central nervous system origin of these ECG abnormalities. Further study is necessary to better define the brain-heart interaction.

Keywords: Cardiac; cerebrovascular attack; electrocardiography.

Conflict of interest statement

Conflict of Interest: Nil

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