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June 1959

Cerebral Embolism: The Natural History, Prognostic Signs, and Effects of Anticoagulation

Author Affiliations

New York

From the Department of Medicine (Neurology) of The New York Hospital and Cornell University Medical College.

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1959;81(6):667-677. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1959.02340180001001

With the knowledge that anticoagulant drugs were effective in significantly reducing the incidence of cerebral embolic phenomena1,2 and the evidence that in animals anticoagulants might increase the severity of experimental hemorrhagic infarcts,3-5 the study of cerebral embolic phenomena in man has taken on new importance. This paper examines three aspects of cerebral embolism in man—the usual clinical course, the prognostic signs of significance, and the effects of anticoagulation upon the clinical outcome.

I. The Natural History  The present study is an effort to delineate the clinical features and course of cerebral embolic phenomena. In previous pathological studies6,7 the natural history of those episodes ending in death has been considered, but this hardly gives a verisimilitude of the usual clinical course.The records of 185 patients with a diagnosis of cerebral embolism admitted to the New York Hospital over the past 18 years were critically assayed. In 82

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