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January 1965

Cerebral Emboli From Cardiac Tumors

Author Affiliations

From the departments of neurology and pathology, State University of Iowa College of Medicine.

Arch Neurol. 1965;12(1):84-91. doi:10.1001/archneur.1965.00460250088011

Cerebrovascular occlusion resulting in infarction by tumor emboli is quite rare.1 In some instances, this may be due to tumor emboli passing through a patent foramen ovale, to passage of the emboli through the lesser pulmonary circulation,2 or to emboli originating from bronchial neoplasms during pneumonectomy.3 An exceedingly rare cause is the embolization from primary cardiac tumors. This rarity is, in part, a reflection of the low incidence of these tumors. Their incidence has been figured at 0.05% of all necropsies.4 Unfortunately, the clinical history and findings in the few cardiac tumors with cerebral embolization from tumor fragments is not consistent enough to constitute a definite syndrome. However, in some instances, the history and associated signs do suggest this rare neurologic condition. The following is a report of a recently encountered instance of this disorder along with an analysis of 11 previously reported cases.5-15 There

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