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
- 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.