Stroke Care

Stroke Diagnosis

Diagnosis of a stroke begins with your medical history, presence of risk factors, assessment of symptoms, and the exclusion of other possible causes. A simple neurological exam is completed to find degree and location of symptoms - weakness, imbalance, visual loss, etc. One or more of the following diagnostic studies may be performed during stroke evaluation:

  • Computerized Tomography (CT) scan - usually first diagnostic test to be performed after patient arrives in the Emergency department. Can distinguish if the stroke was caused by bleeding in the brain, by a blockage, or if a blood clot has interrupted blood flow to the brain
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) - advanced diagnostic tool that provides high definition detail to precisely locate damage, especially in small blood vessels
  • PET scan - measures brain cell metabolism and can determine brain function even if blood flow to the area appears to be diminished