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Embolism of cardiac origin accounts for around 15–30% of ischaemic strokes. Strokes due to cardioembolism are generally severe and early and long-term recurrence and mortality are high. The diagnosis of a cardioembolic source of stroke is frequently uncertain and relies on the identification of a potential cardiac source of embolism in the absence of significant autochthone cerebrovascular occlusive disease. In this respect, echocardiography (both transthoracic and/or transoesophageal) serves as a cornerstone in the evaluation, diagnosis, and management of these patients. A clear understanding of the various types of cardiac conditions associated with cardioembolic stroke and their intrinsic risk is therefore very important. This article reviews potential cardiac sources of embolism and discusses the role of echocardiography in clinical practice. Recommendations for the use of echocardiography in the diagnosis of cardiac sources of embolism are given including major and minor conditions associated with the risk of embolism.