Transesophageal echocardiography in diagnosing cardioembolic stroke.
Stroke is a disease with high morbidity and mortality that afflicts older people. The most common type of stroke is ischemic, and 15-20% of these strokes are cardioembolic. Because clinical features are not very specific for the type of stroke, diagnostic aides are needed to identify the mechanism of stroke so that appropriate therapy can be initiated. Numerous studies have shown that transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) is a more sensitive tool for diagnosing cardioembolic stroke than transthoracic echocardiography (TTE). However TTE and TEE are still considered complementary as they both provide unique information. The many abnormalities that can be identified by TEE and their therapy are discussed in this review, along with indications and complications of TEE. TEE has demonstrated that cardioembolic causes of stroke are much more common than previously thought. With a more precise diagnosis, appropriate therapy can be provided to help prevent cardiogenic stroke.
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