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Ischaemic strokes and myocardial infarctions in a young male cannabis user

Annabelle Culling
Eluzai Hakim
Oliver Pearce
Michelle Dharmasiri


Ischaemic cerebral infarctions are seen in young people but, under the age of 30, multiple bilateral infarcts are uncommon; genetic pre-disposition and co-morbidities often underlie them. There is growing awareness of the potential impact of modifiable risk factors, such as cannabis, for those experiencing stroke and other cardiovascular events. A case of a 29-year-old man is de­scribed who presented with sudden onset occipital headache and right eye vision loss. Computerised axial tomographic scanning (CT) of the brain dem­onstrated multifocal bilateral areas of low attenuation. A brain magnetic reso­nance imaging (MRI), confirmed bilateral acute cerebral infarctions. In view of a significant elevation in troponin levels at a previous admission, cardiac via­bility magnetic resonance imaging (cvMRI) was carried out and demonstrated acute infarction affecting the left ventricular apex and multiple smaller infarcts elsewhere within the myocardium. On this occasion he did not complain of chest pain. The electrocardiogram (ECG) showed ischaemic changes. The patient denied a family history of ischaemic heart disease, diabetes mellitus, hypertension and hypercholesterolaemia, but admitted to daily use of can­nabis and cigarette smoking. We considered the regular use of cannabis as a possible aetiology in the development of multi-territory cerebral and myocar­dial infarcts, previous myopericarditis and left ventricular dysfunction

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eISSN: 2309-4613
print ISSN: 2309-4605