Cholesterol emboli (CE) to the brain are an important but often unrecognized cause of stroke. The authors reviewed 29 cases of brain CE identified on autopsy. Most patients were elderly (mean age, 74 years) and presented with encephalopathy and acute renal failure. Ten patients developed symptoms spontaneously, 19 after a procedure involving manipulation of the aorta. Brain imaging revealed multiple, small ischemic lesions and border zone infarcts in 11 of 17 patients. Pathology in most patients demonstrated multiple CE mixed with emboli of other types.
- Border zone infarcts
- Cholesterol emboli