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Stroke. 2011 Oct;42(10):2977-82. doi: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.111.628479. Epub 2011 Sep 8.

Chronic heart failure and ischemic stroke.


Chronic heart failure (CHF) is one of the leading causes of hospitalization, morbidity, and mortality worldwide. This review summarizes current knowledge with regard to CHF as a risk factor for ischemic stroke. CHF is associated with an increased risk of thrombus formation and is accompanied by a 2- to 3-fold increased risk of stroke. Moreover, stroke in CHF patients is associated with poor outcome and higher mortality. Available evidence for additional "vascular" stroke risk factors in heart failure patients is inconsistent and is mostly derived from cohort studies or retrospective analyses. Current guidelines recommend anticoagulation for CHF patients with concomitant atrial fibrillation but not for those in sinus rhythm. Prospective studies are needed to test whether early detection and optimal treatment of CHF reduces the burden of stroke-associated neurologic and neuropsychological sequelae.

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