Prevalence & incidence of stroke in patients with chronic HF
It is estimated that 4% of patients with heart failure suffer from an ischaemic stroke. However, the magnitude of this problem has not been properly examined due to the variability of the condition within the population and the commonality of various complications. The main research gaps involve understanding the link between the prevalence of ischaemic stroke alongside the prevalence of white matter hyperintensities and silent brain infarcts, with current research being limited and of little therapeutic consequence.
This review by Tan S C et al. aimed to analyse data on the relation between ischaemic strokes, white matter hyperintensities, silent brain infarcts and ischaemic strokes in patients suffering with heart failure. If the prevalence of these two issues is identified, they could be used as understanding precursors of ischaemic stroke in heart failure. This would allow for earlier screening, and therefore potentially earlier intervention.
There is little current research to understand how white matter hyperintensities and silent brain infarcts correlate to ischaemic stroke. Fully understanding this may allow for clinicians to use this information in early diagnosis, potentially leading to prevention of ischaemic stroke within heart failure.