J Stroke.  2020 Jan;22(1):1-10. 10.5853/jos.2019.02278.

Cancer-Related Stroke: An Emerging Subtype of Ischemic Stroke with Unique Pathomechanisms

  • 1Department of Neurology, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  • 2Translational and Stem Cell Research Laboratory on Stroke, Samsung Medical Center, Seoul, Korea
  • 3Department of Hemato-Oncology, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea


Systemic cancer and ischemic stroke are common conditions and two of the most frequent causes of death among the elderly. The association between cancer and stroke has been reported worldwide. Stroke causes severe disability for cancer patients, while cancer increases the risk of stroke. Moreover, cancer-related stroke is expected to increase due to advances in cancer treatment and an aging population worldwide. Because cancer and stroke share risk factors (such as smoking and obesity) and treatment of cancer can increase the risk of stroke (e.g., accelerated atherosclerosis after radiation therapy), cancer may accelerate conventional stroke mechanisms (i.e., atherosclerosis, small vessel disease, and cardiac thrombus). In addition, active cancer and chemotherapy may enhance thrombin generation causing stroke related to coagulopathy. Patients with stroke due to cancer-related coagulopathy showed the characteristics findings of etiologic work ups, D-dimer levels, and infarct patterns. In this review, we summarized the frequency of cancer-related stroke among patients with ischemic stroke, mechanisms of stroke with in cancer patients, and evaluation and treatment of cancer-related stroke. We discussed the possibility of cancer-related stroke as a stroke subtype, and presented the most recent discoveries in the pathomechanisms and treatment of stroke due to cancer-related coagulopathy.


Stroke; Neoplasms; Coagulopathy; Subtype; Thrombosis; Cancer
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