Hemorrhagic transformation in cardioembolic cerebral infarction.
Because the frequency of hemorrhagic transformation of cerebral infarcts is still a matter of controversy, we performed a prospective magnetic resonance imaging study in a series of consecutive patients with cardioembolic stroke.
Among 200 consecutive patients with transient ischemic attack or ischemic stroke, 41 were identified with a computed tomographically proven supratentorial infarct due to cardiogenic embolism. Magnetic resonance imaging (T1-weighted) was performed 3 weeks after the stroke in 35 of these 41 patients. Eight patients received anticoagulants. Magnetic resonance images showed hemorrhagic transformation in 68.6% (24) of the 35 infarcts, always without clinical deterioration. In a stepwise forward logistic regression analysis only the volume of infarction edema on the initial computed tomogram was linked significantly with the risk of hemorrhagic transformation (p = 0.037). Hemorrhages were a regular finding on magnetic resonance images of infarcts exceeding a volume of 10 cm3 (94.4%, 17 of 18).
Hemorrhagic transformation is a regular finding in medium-sized and large cardioembolic infarcts. Thus, in therapeutic and preventive studies of acute stroke the severity, not the frequency, of hemorrhages into brain infarcts should be the matter of interest.
- Copyright © 1993 by American Heart Association