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Physicians caring for persons who have just suffered strokes may need to watch their patients' hearts as well as their brains. That's the message from a study reported by neurologist John W. Norris, MD, and Toronto colleagues at the recent Seventh International Joint Conference on Stroke and Cerebral Circulation held in New Orleans.
One hundred patients with acute stroke who were admitted to the intensive care stroke unit at Sunnybrook Medical Center, Toronto, were examined by Norris, neurologist Vladimir C. Hachinski, MD, and cardiologist Martin G. Myers, MD. The team looked for cardiac arrhythmias, elevation of cardiac enzyme levels (creatine kinase [CK-MB] and lactic dehydrogenase), and elevation of serum catecholamine levels. The same assessments were carried out in a group of 50 control patients—persons admitted to the unit with suspected stroke who turned out to have other problems.
All measurements were made within 48 hours of admission to the unit.
Check WA. Acute stroke may predispose victims to cardiac problems. JAMA. 1982;247(12):1679–1680. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03320370003001
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