Diagnostic Testing for Stroke
If you have had a stroke, or have had stroke warning signs or risk factors, it is very important to seek medical attention immediately. Your doctor will work with you to find the cause of your problem and determine the best treatment.
The first step is to obtain a careful medical history. Your doctor or health care provider will ask questions about your situation.
Next, you will undergo a thorough physical examination. Your doctor will check your pulse and blood pressure, and examine the rest of your body. The neurologic examination includes detailed tests of your muscles and nerves. The doctor will check your strength, sensation, coordination and reflexes. In addition, you will be asked questions to check your memory, speech and thinking.
Depending on the results of your evaluation, your doctor may need additional tests to fully understand your problem. They may include:
- CT scan (CAT Scan, Computed axial tomography)
- MRI scan (Magnetic resonance imaging, MR)
- Carotid doppler (Carotid duplex, Carotid ultrasound)
- Transcranial doppler (TCD)
- MRA (Magnetic resonance angiogram)
- Electrocardiography (EKG)
You may also be referred to a neurologist, neurosurgeon or another medical specialist. Sometimes it takes a while to discover the cause of stroke symptoms, and sometimes the cause of a stroke cannot be determined.