Arterial Ischemic Stroke

Also known as: AIS, ischemic stroke.

What is an arterial ischemic stroke?

Arteries are the blood vessels that carry blood, oxygen and nutrients to all tissues of the body. An ischemic stroke occurs when an artery supplying the brain is damaged, ruptures or is blocked, causing the flow of blood to be interrupted from reaching the brain. Strokes can occur at all ages.

What causes arterial ischemic stroke?

Blockages can occur in a number of ways.

Blood clots from other parts of the body (frequently the heart) can travel to the brain's vessels; a blood clot can develop in the brain’s artery because of a number of  blood clotting problems; damage to arteries with subsequent blockage can result from trauma or inflammation.  

What are the signs/symptoms of arterial ischemic stroke?

The brain needs oxygen to survive. If blood carrying oxygen doesn't reach the brain for more than a few minutes, damage or death of brain cells can result. Depending on which part of the brain is damaged, signs and symptoms of arterial ischemic stroke will vary.

Newborns may have non/few symptoms. Symptoms may include facial or body numbness or weakness, usually on one side. Children may also have difficulty walking, speaking or understanding basic instructions, complain of headache, dizziness, blurred vision, loss of balance, and seizures are other common stroke symptoms.

What are arterial ischemic stroke care options?

After an arterial ischemic stroke, treatment is focused on preventing the stroke from getting worse. This often includes intravenous medications and fluids. Blood-thinning medications may be prescribed to prevent future strokes.


Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: October 07, 2020 03:33 PM

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