BMJ Case Reports 2012; doi:10.1136/bcr.10.2011.5027
  • Unusual association of diseases/symptoms

A heart within the heart – a rare congenital cause of an embolic stroke

  1. Frank Schafer2
  1. 1Cardiology Department, Harefield Hospital, London, UK
  2. 2Cardiology Department, Barnet Hospital, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Tina Khan, tinakhaled{at}


The authors report the case of an 87-year-old lady who presented with a right middle cerebral artery territory infarct in whom the authors diagnosed a probable ruptured blood cyst attached to her anterior mitral valve leaflet, with the use of trans-thoracic and trans-oesophageal echocardiography. Embolic strokes are recognised as a rare complication of intracardiac blood cysts, with very few cases previously reported. Echocardiography was first used to identify a blood cyst in 1983 and remains an excellent modality to diagnose this rare condition.


  • Competing interests None.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

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