What is the pathogenesis of acute ischemic stroke (AIS)?

Updated: May 27, 2020
  • Author: Edward C Jauch, MD, MS, FAHA, FACEP; Chief Editor: Helmi L Lutsep, MD  more...
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Acute ischemic strokes result from vascular occlusion secondary to thromboembolic disease (see Etiology). Ischemia causes cell hypoxia and depletion of cellular adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Without ATP, there is no longer the energy to maintain ionic gradients across the cell membrane and cell depolarization. Influx of sodium and calcium ions and passive inflow of water into the cell lead to cytotoxic edema. [7, 8, 9]

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