Further testing also revealed that Letang has had a very small hole in the wall of his heart since birth, and this may have led to the stroke.
This small defect in the wall is present in all individuals before birth but seals shut in most people.
"Kris had one brief episode of dizziness and nausea last week," Penguins GM Ray Shero said. "We held him out of the Los Angeles game Thursday night, and when he continued to feel ill, tests conducted in Phoenix on Saturday gave us the first indication of his condition. Further testing then was conducted when he returned to Pittsburgh, and he continued to undergo a battery of tests here this week."
Letang, 26, will be re-evaluated after six weeks of treatment by UPMC physicians. In the meantime, he has been cleared to go on vacation with his family during the NHL's Olympic break.
"I hope that by making my condition public at this time, I can help other people by encouraging them to seek medical help if they experience some of the symptoms associated with a stroke -- regardless of their age or general health," Letang said. "It obviously was a shock to get the news but I'm optimistic that I can overcome this and get back on the ice."