A thrombotic stroke is almost always caused by the presence of plaque buildup along the large arteries feeding the brain blood—a condition known as atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries. When a clot or fatty deposit (known as a thrombus) restricts the blood flow enough, it can deprive the brain of oxygen and nutrients, causing a stroke. A thrombotic stroke is a type of ischemic stroke. 

Thrombotic Stroke Causes 

Thrombotic strokes are caused by inadequate blood flow to a part of the brain due to a blocked artery. There are certain factors that put someone more at risk of developing atherosclerosis and suffering a thrombotic stroke.  

These risk factors include: 

  • High cholesterol 
  • High blood pressure 
  • Smoking cigarettes or using tobacco products 
  • Diabetes 
  • Obesity 
  • Lack of exercise

The risk is also higher if there is a family history of thrombotic stroke. 

Thrombotic Stroke Symptoms 

A thrombotic stroke usually produces sudden symptoms, but warning signs sometimes develop gradually over several hours. Either way, they resemble the symptoms associated with all types of strokes, with signs like: 

  • Facial drooping 
  • Slurred speech 
  • Weakness, numbness or even paralysis on one side of the body 
  • Double or blurred vision 
  • Sudden difficulty walking or maintaining balance 
  • Problems understanding speech 
  • Sudden confusion 

Thrombotic Stroke Diagnosis 

It’s important to seek immediate medical care at the first sign of any thrombotic stroke symptoms. Tampa General Hospital is a state-designated comprehensive stroke center offering services in diagnosing and treating thrombotic stroke patients all at one convenient location. We have the capability of performing a variety of tests that are commonly used to diagnose a stroke, including: 

  • CT scan 
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) 
  • Cerebral angiogram 

Thrombotic Stroke Treatment 

Once a patient’s diagnosis is confirmed to be a thrombotic stroke, they will most likely receive the current standard treatment for an ischemic stroke: a tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) or “clot buster” drug called alteplase.