Mechanisms in lacunar infarction.
Lacunes are thought to occur in patients with hypertension or diabetes mellitus as a result of small-vessel disease. This study evaluated the importance of other stroke mechanisms in a population of patients with lacunar infarction.
We evaluated 108 consecutive patients with a lacune in the lenticulostriate distribution for other stroke risk factors such as carotid and cardiac disease.
Hypertension was present in 68% of the patients and diabetes mellitus in 37%; both occurred in 28% and neither occurred in 23%. Noninvasive carotid studies identified atherosclerotic plaque as a possible embolic source in 23%. By previously established criteria, 18% were at high risk for cardioembolism. Of those with hypertension or diabetes mellitus, 36% were at risk for a carotid or cardiac embolus. Of those without hypertension or diabetes mellitus, 32% had a possible carotid or cardiac etiology.
The high incidence of carotid and cardiac disease in those with and without hypertension or diabetes mellitus suggests the importance of other stroke mechanisms in this population. Patients with lacunar infarction should therefore be evaluated for other causes of stroke that may be treatable.
- Copyright © 1992 by American Heart Association