Which dietary modifications are used in the treatment of posterior cerebral artery (PCA) stroke?

Updated: Jul 30, 2018
  • Author: Erek K Helseth, MD; Chief Editor: Helmi L Lutsep, MD  more...
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Answer

Acute stroke patients should undergo a bedside sips test to grossly assess for dysphagia (excepting those who have frank severe dysarthria/dysphagia or altered mental status).

A speech pathologist and dietitian may provide advice on diet immediately and in the long term. Enteral nutrition may need to be provided by alternative means, such as a nasogastric device or a percutaneous enteric gastrostomy tube in patients who have severe dysphagia. As mentioned previously, however, dysphagia is generally not an issue with PCA strokes unless there are concomitant brainstem infarcts.

Visual issues may need to be addressed, because patients may not be able to see one side of the plate and may neglect some of their food. In such cases, patients need to have the plate turned and must eventually be taught to turn their head to see the blind hemifield.

A heart-healthy diet is really an antiatherosclerosis diet and may be applicable depending on stroke mechanism and underlying risk factors. This prescription should be based on follow-up testing and investigation.


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