Understanding Atrial Cardiopathy: an Under-Recognized Contributor to Cardioembolic Stroke

Michelle C. Johansen, Henrique Doria De Vasconcellos, Rebecca F. Gottesman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Purpose of review: Ischemic stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the world with cardioembolic stroke (CES) causing a disproportional amount of the morbidity and mortality associated with stroke. Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the leading cause of CES, and as the population ages, the incidence of CES is anticipated to rise. The importance of proper diagnosis and treatment of patients with embolic-appearing stroke is significant due to the burden of disease and the severity of the illness. Recent findings: The past decade has seen an explosion of treatment options for patients with CES related to AF as well as better mechanisms by which to monitor and diagnose patients with AF. While optimal secondary prevention of stroke with anticoagulation in the setting of AF is known, what remains to be defined is the appropriate treatment of other types of strokes that appear embolic, but no source of the embolism is discovered. Summary: In this article, we will review what is known about the diagnosis and treatment of CES, discuss the emergence of novel therapeutics and emphasize what must be investigated in the future to move the field forward, such as the emerging concept of atrial cardiopathy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number32
JournalCurrent Treatment Options in Neurology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2019


  • Atrial cardiopathy
  • Cardioembolic stroke
  • Ischemic stroke
  • Stroke diagnosis
  • Stroke treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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