Content » Vol 47, Issue 1

Original report

Echocardiographic abnormalities in patients with stroke during the subacute rehabilitation phase

Masahiro Tsujikawa , Yohei Otaka, Rei Hasegawa, Kunitsugu Kondo , Meigen Liu
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Keio University School of Medicine, Japan
DOI: 10.2340/16501977-1890


Objective: To evaluate cardiac function using echocardiography in patients with stroke admitted to subacute rehabilitation units.
Design: Retrospective, cross-sectional study.
Participants: A total of 750 consecutive patients with stroke who were admitted to a suburban rehabilitation hospital. Mean age 67. 5 years (standard deviation (SD) 12. 3 years). Mean time since stroke 36. 7 days (SD 13. 2 days).
Methods: Patients were assessed using transthoracic echocardiography within 7 days of admission. The prevalence of echocardiographic abnormalities was analysed and compared between cerebral infarction and haemorrhage using the Mantel-Haenszel method controlled for age.
Results: Arrhythmias were found in 13. 7% of the patients, 94. 2% of whom had atrial fibrillation. Left atrial enlargement and left ventricular hypertrophy were found in 20. 4% and 19. 5% of all patients, respectively. Left ventricular asynergy was detected in 6. 1% of all patients, but 47. 8% of them had no history of myocardial infarction. Left ventricular ejection fraction was low in 12. 2% of all patients. Abnormal rhythms and left atrial enlargement were significantly more frequent in patients with cerebral infarction than in those with cerebral haemorrhage (p < 0. 01).
Conclusion: The prevalence of cardiac problems is high among patients with subacute stroke regardless of a history of heart disease, and this should be taken into account when planning rehabilitation programmes.

Lay Abstract


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