Stroke Home > Diagnosing Stroke

Diagnosing stroke usually begins with a healthcare professional asking questions concerning what happened and when the possible stroke symptoms began. A doctor making a stroke diagnosis will also typically review the patient's medical history and conduct a physical exam (including a short neurological exam). Tests used for diagnosing stroke may include blood tests, a CT scan, an MRI, a carotid Doppler ultrasound, and a cerebral angiography.

Diagnosing Stroke: An Introduction

In order to make a stroke diagnosis, a healthcare provider will usually begin by asking a number of questions (known as the medical history) and perform a physical exam. If the healthcare provider believes that a person has had a stroke, he or she may order tests. After the doctor has made a stroke diagnosis, he or she may recommend other tests to help determine a stroke cause.
 

Diagnosing Stroke Begins With a Medical History and Physical Exam

When a possible stroke patient arrives at a hospital, a healthcare professional will first ask the patient or a companion what happened and when the possible stroke symptoms began. He or she will also ask questions about stroke risk factors, such as:
 
 
The healthcare provider will then typically perform a physical exam, including a short neurological examination looking for stroke signs and symptoms. If the healthcare provider believes that a person has had a stroke, he or she will order tests to confirm the stroke diagnosis.
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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