Endocarditis Is a Common Stroke Mechanism in Hemodialysis Patients
Background and Purpose—Hemodialysis patients are at high risk for ischemic stroke, and previous studies have noted a high rate of cardioembolism in this population. The aim of this study was to determine ischemic stroke causes among hemodialysis patients and elucidate specific cardioembolic stroke mechanisms.
Methods—This study is a retrospective cross-sectional study of hemodialysis patients admitted with acute stroke to the University of Pennsylvania Health System between 2003 and 2010. Strokes were classified using modified Trial of Org 10 172 in Acute Stroke Treatment (TOAST) criteria as large vessel, cardioembolism, small vessel, atypical, multiple causes, or cryptogenic. Cardioembolic strokes were further characterized for specific mechanism.
Results—We identified 52 patients hospitalized with acute stroke while receiving hemodialysis. Mean age was 64±13 years, 56% were female, and 67% were black. Stroke subtypes included 3 (6%) large vessel, 20 (38%) cardioembolism, 6 (11%) small vessel, 3 (6%) other, 4 (8%) with multiple causes, and 16 (31%) were unknown. Among patients who had an echocardiogram performed, 5 of 52 (10%; 95% confidence interval, 1%–18%) had a patent foramen ovale. Cardioembolic stroke mechanisms included 6 with infective endocarditis (accounting for 12% of all strokes).
Conclusions—Cardioembolism and cryptogenic stroke are the predominant stroke mechanisms among hemodialysis patients. Infective endocarditis was identified frequently relative to other stroke cohorts, and a raised index of suspicion is warranted in the hemodialysis population.
- Received October 21, 2013.
- Accepted December 19, 2013.
- © 2014 American Heart Association, Inc.