Rinsho Shinkeigaku (Clinical Neurology)

Case Report

A case of acute ischemic stroke due to cardiac myxoma treated by intravenous thrombolysis and endovascular therapy

Yuki Kamiya, M.D.1), Hiroo Ichikawa, M.D.1), Keita Mizuma, M.D.2), Kazuhiro Itaya, M.D.1), Yuki Shimizu, M.D.1) and Mitsuru Kawamura, M.D.2)

1)Department of Neurology, Showa University Fujigaoka Hospital
2)Department of Neurology, School of Medicine, Showa University

A 48-year-old woman with no previous neurological diseases was transferred to our hospital because of sudden-onset unconsciousness. On arrival, she showed consciousness disturbance (E1V1M3 on the Glasgow Coma Scale), tetraplegia, right conjugate deviation and bilateral pathological reflexes. These symptoms resulted in a NIH stroke scale score of 32. Brain diffusion-weighted MR imaging (DWI) showed multiple hyper-intense lesions, and MR angiography revealed occlusions of the basilar artery (BA) and superior branch of the right middle cerebral artery (MCA). Transthoracic echocardiography disclosed a 51 × 24 mm myxoma in the left atrium. These findings led to diagnosis of acute ischemic stroke due to embolization from cardiac myxoma. Thrombolytic therapy with intravenous tissue plasminogen activator (IV tPA) was started 120 min after onset because there were no contraindications for this treatment. However, the symptoms did not resolve, and thus endovascular therapy was performed immediately after IV tPA. Angiography of the left vertebral artery initially showed BA occlusion, but a repeated angiogram resulted in spontaneous recanalization of the BA. However, the left posterior cerebral artery remained occluded by a residual embolus. Subsequently, occlusion found in the superior branch of the right MCA was treated by intra-arterial local thrombolysis using urokinase and thrombectomy with a foreign body retrieval device, but the MCA remained occluded. DWI after endovascular therapy showed new hyper-intense lesions in the bilateral medial thalamus and left occipital cortex. Clinically, neurological status did not improve, with a score of 5 on the modified Rankin Scale. IV tPA can be used for stroke due to cardiac myxoma, but development of brain aneurysms and metastases caused by myxoma is a concern. Given the difficulty of predicting an embolus composite from a thrombus or tumor particle, aspiration thrombectomy may be safer and more effective for stroke due to cardiac myxoma to avoid delayed formation of brain aneurysms and metastases.
Full Text of this Article in Japanese PDF (3765K)

(CLINICA NEUROL, 54: 502|506, 2014)
key words: cardiac myxoma, stroke, thrombolytic therapy with intravenous tissue plasminogen activator, endovascular therapy

(Received: 13-Oct-13)