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August 1985

Embolic Stroke Complicating Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Neurology (Cerebrovascular Service) (Drs Gorelick, Rusinowitz, and Robbins), Medicine (Rheumatology) (Dr Tiku), and Pathology Medicine (Neuropathology) (Dr McDonald), University of Illinois at Chicago.

Arch Neurol. 1985;42(8):813-815. doi:10.1001/archneur.1985.04210090081022

• Embolic stroke complicating systemic lupus erythematosus has been infrequently reported. We examined a 25-year-old woman who suddenly became hemiplegic. Two-dimensional echocardiography identified a source of emboli. At cardiac surgery, friable thrombotic vegetations Were found adheringg to the mitral valve leaflets, left ventricular septal wall, and chordae tendineae. At autopsy several weeks later, careful pathologic examination of the heart failed to reveal evidence of thrombus formation or endocarditis. An embolus identical in appearance to the thrombotic vegetations described at cardiac surgery was found lodged in the left middle cerebral artery underlying the recent brain infarction. To our knowledge, this is the first report of embolic stroke in systemic lupus erythematosus caused by extensive cardiac thrombus formation in the absence of underlying endocarditis.

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