Significance of Nonfocal Symptoms in Patients With Transient Ischemic Attack [Original Contributions]

Background and Purpose—Patients with transient ischemic attack (TIA) occasionally show nonfocal symptoms, such as unconsciousness, amnesia, and unsteadiness. The purpose of this study was to clarify the characteristics and prognosis of patients with TIA with nonfocal symptoms, using data from the PROMISE-TIA (Prospective Multicenter Registry to Identify Subsequent Cardiovascular Events After Transient Ischemic Attack).Methods—Patients with TIA within 7 days of onset were consecutively enrolled in the Japanese nationwide registry. Factors associated with nonfocal symptoms and 1-year risks of ischemic stroke and coronary artery diseases were assessed in multivariate-adjusted models.Results—We studied 1362 patients with TIA (879 men; mean age, 69±12 years), including 219 (16%) with nonfocal symptoms. Patients with TIA with nonfocal symptoms were more likely to show acute ischemic lesions in the posterior circulation on diffusion-weighted imaging (multivariate-adjusted odds ratio, 3.07; 95% confidence interval, 1.57–5.82) and arterial stenosis or occlusion in the posterior circulation on vascular examination (odds ratio, 1.94; 95% confidence interval, 1.19–3.09) than those without nonfocal symptoms. Although 1-year risk of ischemic stroke did not differ significantly between groups (adjusted hazard ratio, 0.79; 95% confidence interval, 0.42–1.37), risk of coronary artery disease was higher in patients with TIA with nonfocal symptoms (hazard ratio, 3.37; 95% confidence interval, 1.14–9.03).Conclusions—Both acute ischemic lesions and arterial stenosis and occlusion in the posterior circulation were more frequently observed in patients with TIA with nonfocal symptoms.