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Definition, etiology, and clinical manifestations of transient ischemic attack

Karen L Furie, MD, MPH
Hakan Ay, MD
Section Editor
Scott E Kasner, MD
Deputy Editor
John F Dashe, MD, PhD


Cerebrovascular disease is caused by one of several pathophysiologic processes involving the blood vessels of the brain:

The process may be intrinsic to the vessel, as in atherosclerosis, lipohyalinosis, inflammation, amyloid deposition, arterial dissection, developmental malformation, aneurysmal dilation, or venous thrombosis.

The process may originate remotely, as occurs when an embolus from the heart or extracranial circulation lodges in an intracranial vessel.

The process may result from inadequate cerebral blood flow due to decreased perfusion pressure or increased blood viscosity.

The process may result from rupture of a vessel in the subarachnoid space or intracerebral tissue.

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Literature review current through: Oct 2017. | This topic last updated: May 26, 2017.
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