Abstract 223: Acute Ischemic Stroke in a 23-Year-Old Patient with Verrucous Endocarditis, Prothrombin Heterozygote Mutation, and a Patent Foramen Ovale: A Case Report and Literature Review
Background Stroke is the third leading cause of death and the leading cause of severe, long-term disability in the United States. Since the etiology of stroke in young adults is more heterogeneous, making a diagnosis is often a challenge requiring extensive clinical investigation. We report a case of acute ischemic stroke in a 23 year-old patient with multiple risk factors.
Case Report A 23 year-old Spanish female with a history of tobacco abuse was brought to the Emergency room after she had a sudden onset of left-side weakness, slurring of speech, and lost of consciousness for a couple of minutes. Physical examination: left upper and lower extremities were completely flaccid with left facial weakness. MRI of head confirmed a right middle cerebral artery regional acute ischemic stroke. Transesophageal Echocardiogram revealed small granular densities on the mitral leaflets that consistent with atypical verrucous endocarditis and a patent foramen ovale (PFO). Hypercoagulable evaluation confirmed prothrombin gene mutation heterozygote. The erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) was 75 mm/hour. All other tests were either negative or in normal range. Anticoagulation therapy was started with Heparin and then switched to Coumadin with an INR target of 2.5. Aspirin was also initiated.
Discussion The differential diagnosis in young people (under 50 years) for potential etiology of ischemic stroke is broader than that for older adults. Atypical causes are more prevalent in this population, including cardiogenic cerebral embolus, hypercoagulable states, and autoimmune disease. Verrucous endocarditis is small thrombotic and nonbacterial lesions on the heart valves and endocardium, occurring frequently in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). However, hypercoagulable states and malignancy are often associated with the formation of verrucous endocarditis. Lesions are usually clinically silent. An embolic stroke may be the first feature to suggest the diagnosis. Since there was no evidence in malignancy, SLE, and antiphospholipid syndrome for our patient, hypercoagulable states should be considered as one of the risks for verrucous endocarditis. About 1-2% of the general population is heterozygous for the prothrombin gene mutation. In contrast, in Spain rates of 6% have been reported. It carries a 2 to 4 times increase in venous thrombosis and also increases the risk of arterial thrombosis (stroke and heart attack). Additionally, studies also show that inherited thrombophilic disorders in the pathogenesis of ischemic stroke might relate to congenital heart diseases such as Prothrombin G20210A variant and Factor V Leiden G1691A mutation might be associated with PFO. The prevalence of PFO in patients who have stroke of unknown cause may be about 40%. PFO also increases the rate of paradoxical thromboembolic stroke. This is particularly true in patients who have had a stroke at an age less than 50 years. Since our patient presents multiple risks for recurrent ischemic stroke, life-long anticoagulant therapy should be considered.
Conclusion Acute ischemic stroke in a 23-years-old patient with verrucous endocarditis, prothrombin heterozygote mutation, and a PFO, but absent SLE has been rarely reported. Beside, the authors conclude that hypercoagulable testing and echocardiogram should be performed in young patients with stroke in order to provide us a better understanding of the etiology and the best treatment options.
- © 2012 by American Heart Association, Inc.