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The incidence of cerebral embolization during the performance of mitral valve surgery has been estimated at 5%. Bailey and his associates have found that they can greatly reduce this incidence by intermittent carotid occlusion during the surgical procedure. It may be that in the majority of instances cerebral embolization occurs in the brain. It had been our assumption that this was so and that nothing could be done about the hemiplegia that occasionally occurs during or shortly after this type of operation. That this assumption on our part was at least occasionally incorrect is borne out by the following case report.
REPORT OF A CASE
A woman, aged 39, knew she had rheumatic fever for some years. She never had cardiac decompensation nor was there any history suggesting embolism. Digitalis therapy was used for several years for auricular fibrillation. After careful medical study she was considered to have grade 2
Boyd DP. CAROTID EXPLORATION FOR HEMIPLEGIA FOLLOWING MITRAL VALVE SURGERY. JAMA. 1955;159(2):112-113. doi:10.1001/jama.1955.02960190018006a