Intracranial Atherosclerosis Underlies Many Post-CABG Strokes

Eleanor McDermid, MedWire News

Atherosclerosis accounts for about half of strokes that occur soon after coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery, with intracranial atherosclerosis being the strongest risk factor, research suggests.

Atherosclerosis was an important factor in strokes both within 24 hours of and up to 2 weeks after CABG, "suggesting that atherosclerosis is not a silent condition, even for strokes occurring during the delayed period," say Sun Kwon (Asan Medical Center, Seoul, South Korea) and colleagues.

As reported in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, the team identified stroke in 33 of 1367 patients who underwent CABG. Fifteen (45.5%) of these occurred within 24 hours, while the remainder occurred between 24 hours and 2 weeks after surgery.

The only factors significantly associated with post-CABG stroke were the presence of pre-operative atrial fibrillation, which more than tripled stroke risk, and the extent of intra- and extracranial atherosclerosis.

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