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Cardiac Emboli

A 57 year-old man with presented with weakness and apraxia of the left arm and leg.

Outline the Acute Diffusion Abnormalities

Diffusion weighted MRI axial images. Note the multiple areas of diffusion abnormalities that indicate acute infarction. These areas are present mostly in the rright middle cerebral artery distribution. However, note that there is clearly an acute infarct in the left head of the caudate (left image). Thus, there are infarctions in multiple territories. This pattern of multiple, acute strokes usually signifies a shower of emboli, typically from a cardiac source. In this patient, the atrial fibrillation was later discovered to be the cardiac source.

Revised 04/25/06.
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