REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0190.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Clinical Neurology Keywords: iron-deficient anemia; IDA; stroke; cerebral venous thrombosis; brain MRI; aortic thrombosis; pulmonary embolism; embolic pattern
Online: 10 August 2022 (04:31:26 CEST)
Background: Anemia is one of the most frequent diseases worldwide, affecting a third of the general population. Anemia in general and in particular, iron-deficient anemia (IDA), has been associated to a higher risk of thrombotic manifestations, including ischemic stroke and cerebral venous thrombosis (CVT), as well as systemic extra cerebral arterial and venous thrombosis. Despite these data, anemia is seldom considered as an etiological factor of stroke. Methods: An individual case encompassing all known neurovascular and systemic arterial and venous thrombotic manifestations related to IDA is presented with the focus on clinical reasoning issues in the diagnostic pathways, starting from the neuroradiological signs. The main questions have been identified and addressed in a narrative review of the most relevant data in the literature from a pragmatic and clinical viewpoint. Results and Discussion: The presented case concerns a 46 years old man admitted to the Stroke Unit because of acute is-chemic stroke with multiple thrombi in large intracranial and extracranial vessels, multifocal ischemic lesions in several arterial territories and the concurrent finding of asymptomatic CVT, pulmonary embolism with lung infarction and aortic thrombosis. An extended diagnostic work-up excluded the main etiologies (arterial dissection, cardiac embolism, genetic and acquired prothrombotic disorders, as cancer and antiphospholipid syndrome), except for a severe IDA, such as to require blood transfusions followed by anticoagulant therapy for the several thrombotic manifestations. Neuroimaging and systemic vascular findings have been analyzed and the main issues proposed by the case in the diagnostic pathway have been identified and discussed in a pragmatic clinical road map reviewing the data provided by the literature. Conclusions: IDA is a common but treatable condition that, independently or synergically, may increase the risk of thrombotic events. The diagnostic and therapeutic approach has not yet defined and each case should be individually addressed in a pragmatic clinical road map.