Poor Outcome of Stroke Patients With Atrial Fibrillation in the Presence of Coexisting Spontaneous Echo Contrast
Background and Purpose—Spontaneous echo contrast (SEC) is frequently detected in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF). Coexisting SEC in patients with AF may be associated with heightened thrombogenicity, which affects stroke outcomes.
Methods—Consecutive stroke patients with nonvalvular AF who underwent transesophageal echocardiography were included in this study. We compared initial stroke severity and functional outcome at 3 months between the patients with and those without SEC.
Results—Of 440 patients with nonvalvular AF who underwent transesophageal echocardiography during a 7-year period, 193 (43.9%) patients had SEC. Stroke was more severe in the patients with SEC than in those without SEC (National Institute of Health Stroke Scale score: median [interquartile range], 5 [2–12] versus 3 [1–8]; P=0.004). The patients with SEC more frequently had poor functional outcomes (modified Rankin scale score of >2) at 3 months than those without SEC (32.3% versus 16.1%; P<0.001). On multivariate analysis, the presence of SEC was an independent factor of poor outcome (odds ratio, 2.09; 95% confidence interval, 1.24–3.53).
Conclusions—In the ischemic stroke patients with nonvalvular AF, coexisting SEC was associated with more severe stroke and was predictive of poor long-term functional outcome.
- Received March 29, 2016.
- Revision received April 22, 2016.
- Accepted April 26, 2016.
- © 2016 American Heart Association, Inc.