Transesophageal two-dimensional echocardiography in young patients with cerebral ischemic events.
Using transesophageal echocardiography, cardiac structures can be imaged with high resolution. The aim of our study was to evaluate whether transesophageal echocardiography is superior in detecting mitral valve prolapse and other cardiac abnormalities compared with transthoracic echocardiography in an age-matched control group and in young patients with cerebral ischemic events (patient group). Forty patients with cerebral ischemic events (mean age 35.2 years) and 29 controls (mean age 30.4 years) were examined using both methods. Transthoracic and transesophageal echocardiography showed a significantly higher incidence of mitral valve prolapse in the patient group compared with the control group (p less than 0.001). By means of transesophageal echocardiography, it was possible to measure highly significant bulging in both the anterior and the posterior mitral leaflet in the patient group compared with the control group (p less than 0.001), and the thickness of the mitral leaflets was significantly higher in the patient group. In 9 of 20 (45%) patients with normal transthoracic echocardiograms, transesophageal echocardiography showed pathologic findings. We found transesophageal echocardiography to be a sensitive method for detecting mitral valve prolapse as well as valve changes and other cardiac abnormalities not detectable by conventional echocardiography. Our study underlines the role of mitral valve prolapse in young stroke patients as a relevant risk factor and emphasizes the importance of changed mitral valve morphology.
- Copyright © 1988 by American Heart Association