Background: The risk factors for stroke are common in Saudi Arabia. However, there is a lack of sufficient data on cardiac findings among Saudi patients with stroke. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate common cardiac pathologies among Saudi patients with stroke.
Methods: This is a retrospective cross-sectional study conducted at King Fahd Hospital of the University (KFHU) reviewing all data related to adult stroke patients presented to the emergency department. Of those, data related to Saudi population between 2018 and 2020 have been our focus, were 529 electronic medical charts, demographic data, cardiac lab work-up, and neuro-radiology studies were all reviewed.
Results: A total of 679 patients with stroke visited KFHU. Of these, 529 were Saudis and predominantly male (58.2%). Echocardiograph reports were obtained for 422 patients, of which 316 showed abnormal findings with valvular heart diseases (males 55.5%, females 44.5%) followed by diastolic dysfunction (males 55.7%, females 44.3%), and lastly left ventricular hypertrophy (males 63.5%, females 36.5%) being the most common.
Conclusion: In this single-center retrospective study, the prevalence of cardiac structural abnormalities varies as compared to the international literature, with valvular heart disease being higher (18.2%) among our sample. While the finding of atrial dilation was (16.4%) less than the finding in the literature. Therefore, a prospective national multicenter study is warranted to enable the inclusion of the Saudi population in future global health and populations-based genetics research aiming at a better understanding of cardiac diseases by demography.
Key words: Ischemic stroke, cardiac disease, echocardiogram, patent foramen ovale, valvular heart disease