Purpose of Review: This article discusses neurologic complications that can arise from cardiac and aortic disease and dysfunction.
Recent Findings: Advances in the care of patients with cardiac or aortic disease include the use of prolonged cardiac monitoring in cryptogenic stroke and the approval of the use of left atrial appendage closure devices for stroke prevention in patients with atrial fibrillation who are not candidates for anticoagulation. Continuing controversy surrounds patent foramen ovale closure, and new evidence indicates that cognitive impairment following coronary artery bypass grafting surgery may be less common than previously thought.
Summary: Dysfunction of the cardiovascular system can cause serious neurologic injury. In some cases, both the initial presenting symptom and the most serious damage done by cardiac or aortic dysfunction may be neurologic. Prompt recognition of the symptoms, combined with recent advances in both cardiology and neurology, may permit more accurate diagnoses, more effective treatment, and less injury to patients.