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Stroke. Presented by Chris Fernandez, Naseem Mazlaghani, Ashley Thoreson, and Mary Wuest. Quick Facts. CVA’s are leading cause of disability and third leading cause of death in US Tends to run in families; More common in men

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Presented by Chris Fernandez, Naseem Mazlaghani, Ashley Thoreson, and Mary Wuest

quick facts
Quick Facts
  • CVA’s are leading cause of disability and third leading cause of death in US
  • Tends to run in families; More common in men
  • Persons with Hypertension and type 2 diabetes mellitus are at 4x risk of CVA
  • 2 types of stroke:
      • (1) cerebral infarction
      • (2) cerebral hemorrhage
  • Cerebral infarction: occurs as a result of lack of blood supply due to a blockage in a blood vessel
  • Cerebral hemorrhage: caused by hypertension
pathophysiology cont
Pathophysiology (cont.)

Cerebral infarction

3 major causes:

  • sudden vascular blockage
  • ongoing vascular blockage
  • narrowing of blood vessel

2 major types:

  • Ischemic—area is slightly discolored, softens immediately (6-12 hrs after blockage), necrosis occurs within 48-72 hrs
  • Hemorrhagic—affected area bleeds excessively after blood flow has been restored (blood flow can be reestablished if the original cause of lack of blood supply is removed/changed)
pathophysiology cont5
Pathophysiology (cont.)

Cerebral hemorrhage

Major cause : Hypertension

Increased pressure brain tissue is shifted

  • ischemia
  • edema
  • increased intracranial pressure
  • at times, blood leaks into the ventricular system

Resolved through reabsorption by macrophages and astrocytes:

  • Following removal of blood, a cavity forms

Cerebral infarction:

Ischemic vs. Hemorrhagic


Cerebral Hemorrhage

Agamanolis, D (2008). Neuropathology. Retrieved March 30, 2009, Web site:

About Stroke Genetics. Retrieved March 30, 2009, from Rosand Lab Web site:

  • 4 Classifications of Stroke based on Pathophysiology
    • Thrombotic Stroke
    • Embolic Stroke
    • Lacunar Stroke
    • Hemorrhagic Stroke
etiology cont
Etiology (cont.)

Thrombotic Stroke

  • Atherosclerosis, vasoconstriction , various inflammatory diseases of the blood vessel wall, noninflammatory vasculopathy, and fibromuscular dysplasia.
  • Over 20 to 30 years plaque (stenotic lesion) can form at branching and curves in the arteries, eventually forming a clot
etiology cont10
Etiology (cont.)

Embolic Stroke

  • Most commonly an occlusion from fragments of thrombus formed outside the brain, in the heart, aorta or common carotid.
  • Less common causative agents of stroke are air, fat, clumps of bacteria and tumors.
etiology cont11
Etiology (cont.)

Lacunar Stroke

  • Fibrinoid degeneration
  • Involve small perforating arteries in basal ganglia, internal capsules, and pons. Usually smaller than 1cm.
  • Pure motor and sensory deficits.
etiology cont12
Etiology (cont.)

Hemorrhagic Stroke

  • Hemorrhage of cranial arteries. Common causes include Hypertension, Ruptured aneurysms, bleeding into a tumor, hemorrhage due to bleeding disorders, anticoagulation, head trauma, and illicit drug use.
  • Classified as
    • Massive (>2cm)
    • Small (1-2cm)
    • Slit (resides in subcortical area)
    • Petechial (pinhead).


  • Consciousness
  • Vision
  • Hearing
  • Vertigo
  • Speech


  • Headache
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Seizure
  • Paralysis


  • Emotional



  • Psychiatric


  • Glucose
  • Cardiac Enzymes
  • Drug Screens
  • CBC/Platelets
stroke treatment
Stroke Treatment

Ischemic Stroke

  • Clot-busters, e.g., tPA
    • Only given within 3 hours after diagnosed with stroke to dissolve clot.
stroke treatment cont d
Stroke Treatment cont’d

Hemorrhagic Stroke

  • Aneurysm clipping
    • A surgical intervention performed to isolate an aneurysm from the normal blood circulation.
  • Endovascular coiling
    • Less invasive procedure in which an aneurysm is filled with a substance to block it off.
preventative treatment
Preventative Treatment
  • Anticoagulants/Antiplatelets
    • Anticoagulants such as aspirin thin the blood and prevent clotting.
    • Antiplatelets such as warfarin prevent platelet aggregation.
  • Carotid endarterectomy 
    • Procedure in which plaque is surgically removed from the lining of the carotid artery.
preventative treatment cont d
Preventative Treatment cont’d
  • Angioplasty/Stents
    • Performed to improve blood flow in the body’s arteries and veins.
works cited
Huether, Sue, and Kathryn McCance. Understanding Pathophysiology. 4th ed. St. Louis: Mosby, 2008.Works Cited