Send to

Choose Destination
Acta Neurol Belg. 2004 Mar;104(1):27-31.

Diagnostic and therapeutic impact of ambulatory electrocardiography in acute stroke.

Author information

Department of Neurology, UZ Gasthuisberg, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium.


Detection of paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (PAF) in patients with recent ischemic stroke or TIA suggests a cardioembolic etiology and leads to initiation of oral anticoagulation in suitable candidates. We assessed the diagnostic and therapeutic impact of adding ambulatory electrocardiography (24 hr ECG) to a standardised ischemic stroke workup.


We measured the frequency of detection of PAF in consecutive stroke patients who underwent 24 hr ECG that was not diagnosed clinically or on a standard 12-lead ECG.


One hundred forty five ischemic stroke patients were included. 24 hr ECG was obtained in 136 patients (93.8%). Clinically unsuspected PAF was detected on 24 hr ECG in 7 patients (5.1%). The secondary prevention measure changed from antiplatelet agents to oral anticoagulation in 6 of 7 patients.


Our findings suggest that ambulatory electrocardiography is a valuable diagnostic tool in the workup of stroke patients. Further prospective studies are needed to identify, subtypes of patients in whom the yield of ambulatory electrocardiography is higher.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center