Exploring the pathophysiology of cancer-related stroke

Takeaway

  • People with acute ischemic stroke on a background of active malignancy have higher levels of hematological biomarkers of coagulation and endothelial damage than people with stroke only or active cancer only, and higher levels of microemboli than people with active cancer only.

Why this matters

  • Between 4 and 20% of ischemic strokes occur in people with malignancy, with more aggressive cancers such as lung and pancreatic conferring the greatest risk. Acute ischemic strokes in people with cancer are more likely to be severe, fatal, and more likely to recur than in those without cancer.

  • Our understanding of cancer-related stroke remains limited. It is unclear whether embolic disease and blood-based markers of hematological dysfunction could contribute to or indicate increased risk of stroke in cancer, and whether these features differ between people with and without cancer and acute stroke.