Ischemic Stroke in Young Tunisian Adults


Dhaker Turki
Salma Sakka
Lamia Mbarek
Faten Triki
Mounir Ben jmea
Khadija Moalla
Sameh Marzouk
Olfa Turki
Fatma Megdiche
Choumous Kallel
Mariem Damak
Chokri Mhiri


Introduction: Ischemic Stroke in young adults is a real public health problem; it’s a major cause of disability, alters quality of life and has a great socio-economic impact.

Aim: determine risk factors and specify the etiology of arterial ischemic stroke in young Tunisian adults.

Methods: In this 5 years retrospective study (2015-2020), we included all young adults (18-50 years) admitted for arterial ischemic stroke (AIS). Risk factors were registered and analyzed. All patients were investigated using a standard protocol: biological tests, brain imaging, carotid ultrasound and cardiac assessment. Additional investigations were carried out at the discretion of the treating physician. The cause of ischemic stroke was classified according to the TOAST criteria.

Results: We collected 200 patients with AIS. The mean age was 41.37 years ± 6.99. Traditional vascular risk factors were observed in more than 1⁄4 patients. A definite cause of stroke was identified in 120 patients. Cardio-embolic causes were the most common among our patients (19%) followed by atherosclerosis of the large arteries (11.5%). Other determined etiologies were found in 27.5% of patients. The etiology remained unclear in 40% of cases: undetermined despite complete investigation in 17.5%, undetermined and incompletely investigated 14.5 % and more than one potential pathomechanisms in 8%.

Conclusion: Through this study, we demonstrated the diversity of etiology of stroke in young Tunisian adults. Changes of lifestyle are responsible for the occurrence of the traditional risk factors at an early age. Rheumatic heart diseases remain a frequent cause of AIS in our area.


Arterial ischemic stroke, young adults, stroke etiology, risk factors prothrombin, G20210A mutation.



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