Revision of Echocardiographic Indications and Findings in Neurologically Ill Patients
Claudia Stöllberger1, *, Christian Wegner2, Josef Finsterer1
1 Krankenanstalt Rudolfstiftung, Juchgasse 25, 1030 Wien, Austria
2 Vienna Institute of Demography of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, Welthandelsplatz 2, Level 2, 1020 Wien, Austria
Background and Objective:
Little is known about the general indications for echocardiography and the prevalence of abnormalities detected by echocardiography in patients who are referred from a neurological department. Left ventricular hypertrabeculation/noncompaction (LVHT) is associated with neuromuscular disorders and embolism. The aim of the study was to assess the indications for echocardiography in patients from a neurological department and to review the cine-loops of the examinations in order to assess the frequency of abnormal echocardiographic findings with special regard to LVHT.
Methods and Results:
Included were 126 patients, 58 females (mean age 65 years). Indications were stroke (84%), heart failure (6%), endocarditis (6%) and arrhythmia (3%). The most frequent abnormalities were impaired relaxation (71%) and left ventricular wall thickening (63%). Females were older (68 vs. 62 years, p = 0.0214) and more frequently had normally sized left ventricles than males (98 vs. 88%, p = 0.0376). Patients ≥66 years more frequently had stroke as an indication (91 vs. 77%, p = 0.05), showed a thickened myocardium (72 vs. 53%, p = 0.0272), valvular abnormalities (52 vs. 13%, p = 0.0000) and impaired relaxation (86 vs. 54%, p = 0.0001) than patients <66 years.
LVHT was diagnosed in 3 patients; in one of them the diagnosis was already known. In 45% LVHT and in 38% left ventricular thrombus could neither be excluded nor established since the image quality was poor.
Care should be taken to visualize the left ventricular apical regions when investigating patients referred from a neurologic department in order not to overlook LVHT and thrombi within the left ventricular apex.
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