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Ischaemic or haemorrhagic perioperative stroke (that is, stroke occurring during or within 30 days following surgery) can be a devastating complication following surgery. Incidence is reported in the 0.1–0.7% range in adults undergoing non-cardiac and non-neurological surgery, in the 1–5% range in patients undergoing cardiac surgery and in the 1–10% range following neurological surgery. However, higher rates have been reported when patients are actively assessed and in high-risk populations. Prognosis is significantly worse than stroke occurring in the community, with double the 30-day mortality, greater disability and diminished quality of life among survivors. Considering the annual volume of surgeries performed worldwide, perioperative stroke represents a substantial burden. Despite notable differences in aetiology, patient populations and clinical settings, existing clinical recommendations for perioperative stroke are extrapolated mainly from stroke in the community. Perioperative in-hospital stroke is unique with respect to the stroke occurring in other settings, and it is essential to apply evidence from other settings with caution and to identify existing knowledge gaps in order to effectively guide patient care and future research.

Original publication




Journal article


Nature Reviews Disease Primers

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