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Stroke. 2004 Jun;35(6):1430-5. Epub 2004 Apr 29.

Predictive values of lacunar transient ischemic attacks.

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Department of Neurology and Stroke Center, Bichat University Hospital and Medical School, Denis Diderot University, Paris, France.



We postulated that a lacunar syndrome occurring with transient ischemic attacks (TIAs) or progressive nonsudden onset predicts a brain infarction (BI), presumably caused by a small artery disease (ie, lacunar BI) better than a lacunar syndrome with sudden onset.


We included 510 patients with BI. BI was classified into etiologic groups including lacunar BI group. We identified the patients with lacunar or nonlacunar syndrome, and those with TIAs preceding the BI or with symptoms of nonsudden onset.


Nonlacunar syndrome had a negative predictive value for a lacunar BI of 95%. A lacunar syndrome had a positive predictive value (PPV) of 57% for lacunar infarction (n=109), and the PPV increased to 79% in the case of recent TIAs preceding the lacunar syndrome. Hypertension was present in 95% of cases with lacunar TIAs (odds ratio: 10.69; 95% confidence interval: 1.34 to 84.82; P=0.02).


Lacunar TIAs are almost always associated with history of arterial hypertension and have a high PPV for lacunar BI. This subgroup of patients may reflect different underlying mechanisms than the group of patient with lacunar syndrome of sudden onset.

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