Background and Purpose - Spontaneous echo contrast (SEC) is frequently detected in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF). Coexisting SEC in patients with AF may be associated with heightened thrombogenicity, which affects stroke outcomes. Methods - Consecutive stroke patients with nonvalvular AF who underwent transesophageal echocardiography were included in this study. We compared initial stroke severity and functional outcome at 3 months between the patients with and those without SEC. Results - Of 440 patients with nonvalvular AF who underwent transesophageal echocardiography during a 7-year period, 193 (43.9%) patients had SEC. Stroke was more severe in the patients with SEC than in those without SEC (National Institute of Health Stroke Scale score: median [interquartile range], 5 [2-12] versus 3 [1-8]; P=0.004). The patients with SEC more frequently had poor functional outcomes (modified Rankin scale score of >2) at 3 months than those without SEC (32.3% versus 16.1%; P<0.001). On multivariate analysis, the presence of SEC was an independent factor of poor outcome (odds ratio, 2.09; 95% confidence interval, 1.24-3.53). Conclusions - In the ischemic stroke patients with nonvalvular AF, coexisting SEC was associated with more severe stroke and was predictive of poor long-term functional outcome.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Neurology
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Advanced and Specialised Nursing