Dr. Mowla Publishes on Value of Cardiac MRI in Stroke EtiologyPosted: May 12, 2014
Ashkan Mowla, MD, Assistant Professor of Neurology, is the co-first author on a study published in Cerebrovascular Diseases (2014;37:277-284) on the value of cardiac MRI in identifying the etiology of acute strokes. The routine evaluation for the cause of stroke includes transthoracic echocardiography, but this standard technique has limited ability to detect some abnormalities in the heart or aorta that could contribute to stroke. Some one-third of strokes currently remain cryptogenic, meaning that no clear etiology is identified despite a full work-up. By adding MRI studies of the heart to the routine stroke evaluation in 106 patients, Dr. Mowla and his co-investigators were able to reduce the frequency of cryptogenic stroke by nearly 40%. In some cases, identification of the etiology impacted patient management. The authors cautioned that further study of the technique in larger groups of patients with longer follow-up is needed to confirm their preliminary findings.