What is an embolic stroke?

An embolic stroke is a stroke caused by either a traveling blood clot or a piece of plaque (fatty deposit) that broke off a blood vessel wall. The blood clot or plaque then moves through the blood vessel until it reaches an area in the brain where it gets stuck and cuts off the blood supply, causing a stoke. Embolic strokes can affect many areas in the brain.

There is a strong link between embolic strokes and heart disease.
An embolic stroke is a type of ischemic stroke that occurs when a clot that has formed elsewhere in the body -- typically in the heart or the ascending part of the aorta -- breaks off and travels through the bloodstream until it blocks an artery to the brain.

Continue Learning about Ischemic Stroke

How can I prevent an embolic stroke?
Dr. Natalia S. Rost, MDDr. Natalia S. Rost, MD
The following suggestions can help prevent an embolic stroke: People with atrial fibrillation (a ...
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Why is an ischemic stroke sometimes called a brain attack?
Discovery HealthDiscovery Health
An ischemic stroke, which is sometimes known as a brain attack, is a type of stroke that is caused b...
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What happens during an ischemic stroke?
Dr. Steven A. Meyers, MDDr. Steven A. Meyers, MD
During an ischemic stroke a blood vessel supplying blood to the brain becomes blocked. This leads to...
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What blood vessels can be affected by an ischemic stroke?
Natalia S. Rost, MDNatalia S. Rost, MD
The following blood vessels can be affected by ischemic stroke:Large-artery atherothrombotic strokes...
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