Common questions about stroke

Written by: Dr. Leopoldo Guimaraens Martínez
Edited by: Top Doctors®

What is an embolism? Where does it usually appear? What factors condition its appearance?

A cerebral embolism , also called cerebral infarction or stroke , occurs when an artery in the brain that carries blood to a territory is occluded, usually due to a clot. Then a heart attack occurs, as it happens in the heart, since that area of ​​the brain dies when it does not receive blood. With this, the patient loses the function that the area was doing, for example moving one side of the body or talking. The difference with cardiac infarction is that in this case it does not hurt.

Most often, the embolism appears in the anterior area of ​​the brain, either on the left or right side. Strokes in the posterior part of the brain are less frequent.

There are three general factors that condition the appearance of an embolism:

1. Diseases that cause clots in the heart, which are then sent to the brain.

2. Diseases that form plaques in the arteries and eventually close them, such as excess cholesterol , high blood pressure, and diabetes .

3. Diseases of the blood that cause clots to form more easily.


What kind of disorders can it produce?

The disorders caused by an embolism depend on the area of ​​the brain that has been damaged. If the anterior part is affected it will cause the patient to twist the mouth and lose the strength of one side of the body. Depending on whether the patient is left-handed or right-handed, he may also lose or have difficulties in speech and comprehension.

What is the neuroradiology treatment for the embolism?

The treatment consists of opening the artery that has been closed, usually extracting the clot, although there are also other options such as diluting it or placing a prosthesis that leaves the artery open.


What are the advantages of this type of treatment?

The main advantage of this treatment is that with it you can reverse the patient's symptoms whenever the opening of the artery occurs before the brain tissue has died. In addition, there is no need to open the patient's skull, it is a treatment through a catheter , introducing a small tube through the groin.


How long will it take the patient to recover from the intervention?

The time it takes for the patient to recover depends on the state of the brain parenchyma (its functional tissue) when the artery opens, because it conditions the sequelae. If it is treated in time, the patient will be fine in about 24-48 hours.

On the contrary, if there is a part of the infarcted brain, the recovery will depend on how many functions are limited. This process can take months and the patient will not recover completely, although it will improve partially.

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

By Dr. Leopoldo Guimaraens Martínez

Dr. Guimaraens is a specialist in Neuroradiology with more than 30 years of experience. He has developed his care activity as Head of Service in prestigious national and international hospitals. He is an active member of the French, Spanish and European Society of Neuroradiology and has published more than 120 papers and articles in Interventional Neuroradiology books.

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

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