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May is American Stroke Month, and Cayuga Medical Center is raising awareness by helping make the connection between irregular heartbeats and strokes of unknown cause. As part of its ongoing commitment to cardiac and stroke care, Cayuga Medical Center has adopted one of the latest advances in long-term cardiac monitoring to help reduce a patient’s risk of a recurrent stroke.2
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The most common type of stroke, called an ischemic stroke, affects nearly 690,000 Americans annually.3-9 The root cause of 20 to 40 percent of these strokes cannot be determined, which means the stroke is deemed “cryptogenic” or “of unknown cause.” 3-9 Studies have shown that atrial fibrillation (AF), a common cardiac condition defined by irregular or rapid heartbeats, is responsible for a significant portion of cryptogenic strokes if undiagnosed.3-9 However, because AF often has no symptoms and may occur infrequently, it may not be detected by conventional monitoring techniques.10-18
Unlike conventional monitoring methods, long-term cardiac monitoring devices, such as the miniaturized Reveal LINQ™ Insertable Cardiac Monitor (ICM), automatically and continuously detects and records abnormal heart rhythms for up to three years.19 This enables physicians at Cayuga Medical Center to more easily detect AF and change a patient’s medical therapy to help reduce their risk of a recurrent stroke.