What Is a Cerebral Infarction?

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

  • Medical Editor: Dennis Lee, MD
    Dennis Lee, MD

    Dennis Lee, MD

    Dr. Lee was born in Shanghai, China, and received his college and medical training in the United States. He is fluent in English and three Chinese dialects. He graduated with chemistry departmental honors from Harvey Mudd College. He was appointed president of AOA society at UCLA School of Medicine. He underwent internal medicine residency and gastroenterology fellowship training at Cedars Sinai Medical Center.

Last Editorial Review: 9/5/2017

Ask the experts

As the cause of death on my mother's death certificate, it reads: Late effects of right basal ganglia cerebral infarction due to arteriosclerotic cerebrovascular disease. She also had a mass in her left breast. Can you please explain this?

Doctor's response

A cerebral infarction (also known as a stroke) refers to damage to tissues in the brain due to a loss of oxygen to the area. The mention of "arteriosclerotic cerebrovascular disease" refers to arteriosclerosis, or "hardening of the arteries" that supply oxygen-containing blood to the brain. The statement above means that there was a stroke that resulted from the damaged arteries in the brain. The reference to the basal ganglia refers to the location within the brain where the stroke occurred. The basal ganglia (on both sides, referred to as right and left basal ganglia) are involved in the regulation of numerous processes, including movement. If an autopsy was performed, the autopsy report should contain additional information about the mass in the breast, including whether this mass represented a malignant tumor or benign process.

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Last Editorial Review: 9/5/2017
Medically reviewed by John A. Daller, MD; American Board of Surgery with subspecialty certification in surgical critical care


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