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How are strokes diagnosed?

Published On: Apr 16 2013 02:38:29 PM CDT
Updated On: May 10 2013 09:24:03 AM CDT
Blood test, lab file

iStock/zilli

If you suspect you’ve suffered a stroke, typically a series of tests will be performed to determine if you did have a stroke, what type of stroke it was and which part of your brain is affected.

 

According to the Mayo Clinic, the following tests may be performed:

 

Physical examination: According to the Mayo Clinic, during this examination your doctor will ask about the symptoms you have and how long you’ve had them. He or she will likely also ask about what medications you’re taking, if you’ve suffered any recent injuries, and what your family history is with strokes and heart disease. He or she will also probably check your blood pressure and listen to your heart.

 

Blood tests: Blood tests may be performed to check your blood sugar, see how fast your blood clots, check for infection and other key levels of your blood.

 

CT scan: A CT scan of your brain will likely be taken to check for tumors, strokes and hemorrhaging.

 

MRI: An MRI might be taken to check for an damaged brain tissue.

 

Carotid ultrasound: According to the Mayo Clinic, this test uses sound waves to create images of the carotid arteries in your neck to check for any buildups or blockage.

 

Cerebral angiogram: During this procedure, a thin tube is run from your groin through your major arteries into your carotid or vertebral artery to allow doctors to take a look at the arteries.

 

Echocardiogram: This test will check for blood clots in your heart that could have traveled from your heart to your brain to cause your stroke, according to the Mayo Clinic.

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