What Makes New Ischemic Lesions Symptomatic after Aortic Valve Replacement?

Ronen R. Leker, Steven R. Messé, Guray Erus, Michel Bilello, Molly Fanning, Michael Acker, Allie Massaro, Scott E. Kasner, Thomas Floyd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background Acute cerebral infarctions on diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are common after cardiothoracic surgery. However, most are asymptomatic and we aimed to identify features associated with clinical stroke symptoms. Methods Patients over 65 years of age undergoing surgical aortic valve replacement (AVR) for calcific stenosis were prospectively recruited (N = 196). All patients underwent neurological evaluation preoperatively and on postoperative days 1, 3, and 7, and MRI on planned postoperative day 5. Among those with new postoperative DWI lesions, we performed univariate and multivariable analyses to identify clinical, demographic, surgical, and imaging factors associated with clinical stroke symptoms. Results Of the 129 patients who completed a postsurgical MRI, 79 (61%) had DWI lesions and 17 (21.5%) of these had new stroke symptoms concordant with the infarct distribution. In an exploratory multivariable analysis, focal neurological symptoms were associated with increased age, a longer bypass duration, and a larger pre-existing lesion burden on fluid-attenuated inversion recovery. Limiting the analysis to the 61 patients with analyzable volume and location data, logistic regression failed to identify any location-related determinant of symptomatic lesions. Conclusions New DWI lesions are common after AVR, but most are asymptomatic. Patients are more likely to have symptoms with longer bypass durations, increasing age, and larger pre-existing lesion burdens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2943-2948
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2017


  • Stroke
  • aortic valve
  • diffusion-weighted MRI
  • surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Rehabilitation
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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