Our objective was to study the potential utility of multidetector computed tomography (MDCT) to identify both cardiac embolic sources and coronary artery disease (CAD) in embolic-stroke patients.Methods:
We performed MDCT for 184 patients with embolic stroke but without known CAD. Twenty-six patients had atrial fibrillation. We investigated the prevalence of the potential source of the embolism and the coronary characteristics.Results:
Overall, 64 potential embolic sources were detected in 59 patients (32.1%). Left atrial appendage thrombus, left ventricular thrombus and aortic atheroma were detected in 3.3, 0.5 and 15.8% of patients, respectively. Circulatory stasis and patent foramen ovale were detected in 8.7 and 6.5%, respectively. As for coronary calcium score, only 47 patients (25.5%) had a score of zero and 51 (27.7%) had a score of ≥400. Significant CAD was detected in 18 patients (9.8%). One hundred and thirty-seven (74.5%) had coronary plaques. The prevalence of positive remodeling, low-attenuation plaque, spotty calcification and a napkin-ring sign was 7.1, 1.6, 5.4 and 2.7%, respectively. Importantly, only 34 patients (13.0%) had no abnormalities detected by MDCT.Conclusions:
Our results suggest that MDCT has potential to identify both cardiac embolic sources and CAD in patients with embolic stroke but without known CAD.