Risk factors for intracardiac thrombus in patients with recent ischaemic cerebrovascular events

S. Sen, S. Laowatana, J. Lima, S. M. Oppenheimer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Background: Intracardiac thrombus is a common cause of cardiogenic cerebral ischaemia. Stroke recurrence is high, but thrombus detection with therapeutic intervention can reduce the risk. Accurate detection requires transoesophageal echocardiography (TOE), which is semi-invasive and costly. Objective: To identify risk factors for cardiac thrombus, enabling selection of patients for TOE and initiation of measures to prevent the formation of cardiac thrombus. Methods: 151 consecutive patients with ischaemic stroke or transient ischaemic attacks (mean age 62 years) underwent TOE for intracardiac thrombus detection within one week of a qualifying event. Results: Intracardiac thrombus was found in 26% of the patients (70% in the left atrial appendage). Multivariate analysis indicated the following clinical correlates: large stroke, odds ratio (OR) = 2.8 (95% confidence interval, 1.2 to 6.4); symptomatic coronary artery disease, OR = 3.0 (1.2 to 7.4); and ECG evidence of ischaemia, OR = 2.8 (1.1 to 7.7). Neither carotid stenosis >70%, nor stroke location correlated with the presence of thrombus. Conclusions: Clinical factors correlate with and appear to be risk factors for cardiac thrombus in patients with recent cerebral ischaemia. These may be used to select appropriate patients for invasive and costly TOE investigation, irrespective of the presence of significant carotid stenosis (≥70%) or stroke location.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1421-1425
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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