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A Common Cardiac Arrhythmia After Stroke 

A Common Cardiac Arrhythmia After Stroke
Chapter:
A Common Cardiac Arrhythmia After Stroke
Source:
Neurocritical Care (2 ed.)
Author(s):

Eelco F. M. Wijdicks

, Alejandro A. Rabinstein

, Sara E. Hocker

, and Jennifer E. Fugate

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780190602659.003.0031

EKG changes are common and vary from simple S-T segment changes to new complex cardiac arrhythmias. New EKG changes in critically ill neurological patients could indicate acute myocardial ischemia or pulmonary emboli. Critically ill patients often have underlying cardiac disease and the most common problem is flaring up of atrial fibrillation, often with a rapid ventricular response. Sudden discontinuation of antiarrhythmic drugs can lead to this response. The pharmacological choices to initially treat the increased heart rate and options for long-term control are discussed in this chapter. Diltiazem infusion may control rapid ventricular response in atrial fibrillation or even convert atrial fibrillation to normal sinus rhythm.

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