Cerebral Embolism: What Is It And How Does It Affect?

Cerebral embolism is a type of cerebral infarction, that is, a cerebrovascular accident in which a part of the brain is left without blood supply. It is, unfortunately, a very common pathology and an emergency situation. Here we tell you everything you need to know about it.

What is stroke?

As we have already mentioned, cerebral embolism is a type of cerebral infarction or cerebrovascular accident. This means that, due to the interruption of blood flow in a blood vessel of the brain, the area of ​​the brain that was supplied by that vessel is left without receiving blood.

When a tissue stops receiving blood, it is not receiving oxygen or other nutrients either, since the blood is in charge of transporting these substances. What happens is that the cells that are part of that tissue, first have difficulties to continue performing their functions, and finally they end up dying.

The different types of infarction are based on the mechanism of production. Thus, the cerebral embolism is produced, as its name indicates. by a plunger that reaches a vessel in the brain.

This embolus can be made up of different substances, such as a clot of cells and blood particles. The plunger travels through the vessels until it reaches one in which, due to its size, it becomes stuck, preventing normal flow.

embolism causes stroke

Causes and types of stroke

We have already discussed that the substances from which the plunger can be made are different. Thus, some of the main types of blood emboli and their causes are:

  • Clots: formed by a blood clot that acquires a thicker consistency than normal blood. Its main cause is atrial fibrillation, which causes a turbulent flow of blood in the heart and forms. Long immobilization, especially of the legs, after an operation or accident, is also a circumstance that facilitates the appearance.
  • Air: it is an air bubble that prevents the passage of blood. It is formed when an amount of air manages to get into a blood vessel. For example, when inserting the needle for a blood draw.
  • Fat : produced when a lot of fats accumulate in the blood in the form of cholesterol.

For clarification, it should be said that the difference between a thrombus and an embolus is that the thrombus occludes the vessel in the same place where it is formed, without detaching from the walls. However, the plunger will travel through the circulatory system until it becomes stuck. The causes and types of thrombus and embolus, therefore, will be the same in their origin.

How does it affect the body and what are its symptoms?

The brain is the organ in the body that is most sensitive to blood flow. This is because it is made up of many cells – neurons – that constantly require large amounts of oxygen. The interruption of blood flow in an area causes the brain tissue to atrophy and die in a few minutes.

Symptoms of a stroke appear suddenly. There are also cases in which they will appear progressively in hours, but they are the least.

The symptoms will depend on the blood vessel it affects and the area and extension of the brain that it irrigates. Some of the most common symptoms of stroke are:

  • Headache
  • Weakness or loss of sensation in one or more limbs, or one half of the body
  • Sudden trouble speaking or understanding
  • Motor incoordination when walking
  • Dizziness or vertigo
  • Loss of vision in one or both eyes.

Diagnosis and treatment

cerebral stroke

Stroke is an emergency situation. This is so because the longer an area of ​​the brain goes without irrigation, the more tissue will die, and the sequelae will be more serious and irreversible. Prompt recognition of symptoms and calling emergency services is crucial in this situation.

Once the emergency sequence is activated, the health workers will be in charge of evaluating the patient’s clinic. If necessary, tests, such as CT scans, will be performed to confirm that it is a stroke and classify it into one of the types.

Once the type of cerebral ischemia is established, the speed with which it is treated will be essential. In the case of embolism, it can be treated with drugs that dissolve the embolus or with surgery to remove it. This will depend on the type and location of the embolus, being the specialists who decide the treatment that best suits each case.

Stroke is an emergency

It is a frequent pathology and an emergency situation. It will be essential to recognize the symptoms and warning signs to notify the emergency services. Once these have been implemented, they will be the ones who decide in each case the most appropriate steps to follow.

We must bear in mind that it will not always be possible to recover all the functions that have been lost after a stroke. It will require a rehabilitation that may be more or less long, depending on each particular case.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button