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Hours & Address
About the Rush Comprehensive Stroke-Cardiology Clinic
The Stroke-Cardiology Clinic at Rush provides you with a multidisciplinary care approach if you’ve experienced a stroke that may be related to a cardiovascular condition such as atrial fibrillation (AFib), patent foramen ovale (PFO), cardiac dysrhythmia or cardiomyopathy.
Our clinic offers you a consolidated, one-stop, unified approach to your stroke diagnostic and treatment plans. Our team of cardiologists and vascular neurologists works collaboratively to evaluate you, create a comprehensive treatment plan and educate you and your family in one convenient clinic location.
Is this clinic right for me?
You’re an ideal candidate for this clinic if you’ve experienced a stroke from an undetermined or unknown cause, or a stroke due to PFO or atrial fibrillation. At the clinic, we determine whether you have an underlying reason for the stroke. This allows providers to pinpoint the cause and provide treatment that can help prevent another occurrence.
About 25% of all strokes are due to a heart-related source such as AFib, cardiomyopathy, endocarditis or PFO. Atrial fibrillation is a particularly common type of irregular heartbeat that often causes the heart to beat rapidly. Around 25% of the US population is living with AFib. People with AFib have a five times greater risk of stroke than those who do not. There are many treatment options for patients with stroke-related atrial fibrillation.
Each year in the United States, more than 800,000 people experience a stroke. It is the fourth-leading cause of death and the leading cause of serious, long-term disability in adults. Preventing strokes or transient ischemic attacks (TIA, often referred to as “mini-strokes”) is complicated by the fact that people often have coexisting neurological and cardiovascular conditions. Heart issues often influence the care of neurologic patients; likewise, neurologic considerations are critical in several types of heart disease.
- Nationally recognized stroke care: Rush University Medical Center, Rush Copley Medical Center and Rush Oak Park Hospital have been recognized by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association with the Get With the Guidelines® Stroke Gold Plus Achievement Award. In addition, Rush University Medical Center and Rush Oak Park Hospital have received the Stroke Elite Plus Honor Roll Award. These awards recognize that Rush hospitals provide timely and effective stroke care that is among the best in the country.
- Comprehensive care: Rush is certified by the Joint Commission as a Comprehensive Stroke Center, the most demanding stroke certification designed for those hospitals that have specific abilities to receive and treat the most complex stroke cases.
- Cutting-edge research: As leaders in cardio-stroke prevention, Rush is continually engaged in ongoing research examining new and innovative techniques for treating patients with heart-related stroke.
Our Team of Providers
Conditions, Test and Treatments
- Atrial fibrillation-related stroke: A stroke related to the cardiac disorder atrial fibrillation, which causes the heart to beat irregularly and can lead to blood clots.
- Cryptogenic stroke: A stroke with an unknown cause.
- Embolic stroke of undetermined source: A type of stroke that’s caused by a blood clot blocking a blood vessel, but without a clear indicator of what led to the clot.
- PFO-related stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA): A type of stroke related to patent foramen ovale, a condition where there is a small opening between the upper chambers of the heart. This increases the risk of TIA, sometimes called “mini-strokes.”
- Stroke due to other structural cardiac conditions: A stroke that’s caused by other types of heart abnormalities, such as problems with the valves or chambers of the heart.
- Cardiac rhythm monitoring: Devices that are worn on the chest or implanted under the skin record your cardiac rhythm for a specific period of time. External monitors, also called Holter monitors, record for 24 to 48 hours, while implantable loop recorders can record for up to three years.
- Coronary angiography: X-ray imaging that captures pictures of the heart’s blood vessels.
- Echocardiography: An ultrasound that shows an outline of the heart moving. For a transthoracic echocardiogram, the image is taken at the surface of the chest. For a transesophageal echocardiogram, the image is taken with a probe that’s placed down your throat while you’re under sedation.
- Antithrombotic agents: Medications that prevent blood clots from forming. These can be anticoagulants, also known as blood thinners, or antiplatelet drugs that keep platelets from clumping together.
- LARIAT® device: A device that closes the heart’s left atrial appendage to reduce the risk of blood clots. It’s placed through a minimally invasive procedure using a thin, flexible catheter threaded through your blood vessels.
- Left atrial appendage closure: A permanent implant, placed with a minimally invasive cardiac catheterization procedure, blocks off the heart’s left atrial appendage to reduce the risk of blood clots in patients with atrial fibrillation.
- Medical therapies: Medications that can be used to lower the risk of stroke include antithrombotic agents, which limit the chances of developing blood clots, and statins, which help to reduce levels of cholesterol that can block blood vessels.
- PFO closure: A PFO is a hole between the two upper chambers of the heart (right and left atrium) that can allow blood clots to travel to the brain and cause a stroke. Closing a PFO involves a minimally invasive procedure that seals the opening.
- Risk factor modifications: Managing your blood pressure, blood sugar, weight and other factors can cut risk of stroke significantly. Your providers can work with you to make lifestyle changes that decrease your risk.
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