Neurologic complications of arrhythmia treatment

Handb Clin Neurol. 2014:119:129-50. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-7020-4086-3.00010-2.


An arrhythmia is defined as an abnormal heart rhythm. Certain arrhythmias have much higher rates of neurologic complications, including stroke, cognitive impairment, and dementia. The purpose of this paper is to review both the direct and indirect causes of neurologic problems caused by arrhythmias. Direct complications from arrhythmia can include stroke, transient ischemic attack (TIA), and varying disorders of cognition. According to the Stroke Data Bank, which divided potential direct causes of cardioembolic stroke into strong and weak sources, both atrial fibrillation and sick-sinus syndrome were considered to be strong sources of this type of ischemic stroke. Indirect causes of neurologic complications include cardiopulmonary resuscitation, medications, cardiology procedures, and cardiac surgical procedures used to treat arrhythmias.

Keywords: Ischemic; cardioembolic; diagnosis; etiology; management; stroke.

Publication types

  • Portrait

MeSH terms

  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / complications*
  • Humans
  • Nervous System Diseases / etiology*