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CVA means Cerebrovascular Accident. It represents a catastrophe affecting the brain that can have one of three mechanisms:
1. Cerebral Thrombosis (thrombotic CVA): This is the most common form of CVA. It is the death of a portion of the brain due to a loss of its blood supply because of occlusion (closing off) of the blood vessel by blood clot. The vessel most often involved is the middle cerebral artery or one of its branches. The patient may experience a sudden loss of speech or motor function. If the deficit is permanent, the patient has indeed suffered from a stroke. If the loss of function is brief and temporary, the patient has suffered from a less serious “mini-stroke” called a transient ischemic attack (TIA). In both instances, the underlying cause of the thrombosis and stroke is arteriosclerosis of the cerebral blood vessels.
On rare occasions, a patient can suffer a thrombotic CVA from decreased blood flow in the carotid arteries in the neck…again due to arteriosclerotic narrowing.
A patient with cerebral arteriosclerosis is subject to one or more additional strokes (recurrent CVA) inasmuch as the arteriosclerosis is a permanent condition.
2. Cerebral Hemorrhage (bleeding) (Hemorrhagic CVA): This occurs when there is rupture of a blood vessel somewhere in the brain. The patient experiences sudden headache, as well as various forms of loss of brain function depending on the area of brain affected. This calamity is usually associated with hypertension (high blood pressure), as well as cerebral arteriosclerosis.
If the hypertension is uncontrolled, the patient may be susceptible to recurrent hemorrhagic CVA.
Patients abusing cocaine and amphetamines are at risk for hemorrhagic CVA.
3. Cerebral Embolism (embolic CVA): This is the least common form of CVA, due to blockage of a cerebral vessel from a clot from elsewhere (usually from within the heart). The clot breaks off, thereby becoming an embolus, and is pumped to the brain, where it lodges in a cerebral artery. The symptoms are the same as those of thrombotic CVA,
Patients with chronically abnormal heart rhythm (atrial fibrillation, for example) or heart valve deformity are subject to recurrent embolic CVA’s.
CVA (Strokes) refer to cerebrovascular accident. And is commonly recurrent due to disease that has not been diagnosed. For recurrent CVA to stop, testing and diagnosis need to be performed for proper treatment and medication to stop the CVA's from continuing.
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