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Diagnostic Questions

What should happen when a patient with an acute stroke comes to the ER?
The first step in acute stroke therapy is a precise diagnosis. Therefore the first question that the physician asks is "Is this a stroke?" If yes, then:

  • Where is the injured brain tissue located and how much is affected?
  • What artery has been affected?
  • What is the likely mechanism of stroke?
  • Are there any specific treatments that can reverse the effects of the stroke?

The initial diagnosis is usually based on history and physical examination, supported by CT or MRI imaging technology. All this must be done very quickly.