Background and Purpose The cause of cerebral and peripheral embolism remains undetermined in a significant number of patients. An atherosclerotic thoracic aorta has thus far been considered to be an uncommon one. Methods To define the potential role of the ascending thoracic aorta as an embolic source, intraoperative ultrasonic aortic imaging was performed in 1200 of 1334 consecutive patients aged 50 years and older who were undergoing cardiac surgery. Patients were divided into two groups according to the results of the ultrasound study in terms of presence or absence of atherosclerotic disease. The prevalence of previous neurological events in the two groups was characterized and compared. Results Ascending aortic atherosclerosis was present in 231.
- Carotid arteries
- Heart disease