What is the role of electrocardiography in the diagnosis of vertebrobasilar stroke?

Updated: Mar 03, 2020
  • Author: Vladimir Kaye, MD; Chief Editor: Stephen Kishner, MD, MHA  more...
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Answer

Answer

Electrocardiography should be performed in all patients on initial evaluation. All patients should be monitored continuously for the first few days. Ischemic changes in the ECG should be investigated further with assays of serum creatine kinase, cardiac isoenzymes, and troponin, for reasons that include the following:

  • Up to 20% of patients with acute stroke have an arrhythmia

  • Myocardial infarction occurs in 2-3% of patients

  • The presence of arrhythmias (eg, atrial fibrillation) has an impact on long-term patient management related to stroke prevention


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