Etiology, prognosis, and hemostatic function after cerebral infarction in young adults.
We retrospectively evaluated 66 patients younger than 40 years of age who presented with acute nonhemorrhagic cerebral infarction (n = 63) or transient ischemic attacks (n = 3) to determine the possible etiology and long-term outcome at a mean follow-up interval of 3 years after initial presentation. A probable cause for the stroke was identified in 24 patients (36%); this group included one woman with a history of recurrent spontaneous abortions and a positive test for the presence of the lupus anticoagulant. We performed detailed hemostatic investigations at follow-up in 38 (90%) of the remaining 42 patients in whom the cause of the stroke was unknown or uncertain; results of the basic hemostatic screening tests (including that for fibrinogen) were uniformly normal. All 38 patients demonstrated a normal fibrinolytic response as measured by tissue plasminogen activator release to a standard venous occlusion stress test; concentration of the inhibitor of tissue plasminogen activator was not increased. No abnormalities in the concentrations of the inhibitory proteins C or S or antithrombin III were identified, and none of the 38 patients had evidence of a lupus anticoagulant. Neurologic recovery was complete or the residual disability mild in 46 of 59 (78%) patients. Overall prognosis was excellent and independent of whether a precipitating factor for the stroke could be identified.
- Copyright © 1989 by American Heart Association