Stroke as a Complication of Medical Disease

Michael Chen, M.D.

Disclosures

Semin Neurol. 2009;29(2):154-162. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction

Abstract

This article focuses on the medical diseases that not only lead to cerebrovascular complications, but at times initially manifest as cerebral infarction. Specifically, I examine the relationships between stroke and various medical diseases (inflammatory disease, migraine and other vasoconstrictive disorders, congenital heart disease, connective tissue disorders, infectious disease, malignancy, and polycystic kidney disease). Many of these conditions may cause cerebrovascular ischemia via nonatherosclerotic mechanisms. Understanding these relationships between stroke and medical disease will allow the reader to better recognize etiologic relationships, and thereby reach more accurate diagnoses.

Introduction

Many medical diseases not only lead to cerebrovascular complications, but also, at times, initially manifest as cerebral infarction. The prognosis, course, and management of stroke secondary to medical disease may be influenced by factors not limited to managing atherosclerosis. Many of the topics chosen for this article are not just the medical diseases associated with cerebrovascular complications, such as malignancy, infection, and connective tissue disease, but also those rarer conditions that are becoming increasingly recognized, such as systemic inflammatory conditions. Understanding the relationships between stroke and medical disease allows for more effective patient care, helping the neurologist communicate better and work in collaboration with internal medicine colleagues.

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