Diagnosing and Managing a Mini-Stroke
Making a DiagnosisAs part of diagnosing a mini-stroke, the healthcare provider will usually ask a number of questions (including questions about the patient's medical history and symptoms) and perform a physical exam. If the healthcare provider believes that a person has had a mini-stroke, he or she may order additional tests to look for possible causes of a mini-stroke or to rule out other conditions that can cause symptoms similar to those seen with a mini-stroke.
These tests may include:
- Blood tests (such as tests looking for high cholesterol or diabetes)
- Computed tomography scan (CAT scan or CT scan)
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Carotid Doppler ultrasound
- Carotid arteriography
- Cerebral angiography (also known as a cerebral angiogram, cerebral arteriogram, or digital subtraction angiography)
- Magnetic resonance angiogram (MRA) or functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)
- Transcranial Doppler
- Electrocardiogram (EKG)
- Lumbar puncture
- Electroencephalography (EEG).
(Click TIA Diagnosis for more information about the steps involved in diagnosing a mini-stroke.)
Treatment OptionsResearch has shown that people who get treatment for a mini-stroke can significantly decrease their chances for a stroke.
Treatment for a mini-stroke may involve the following:
- Lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking, changing your diet, or increasing your physical activity
- Medications used to help blood from clotting or to control mini-stroke risk factors, such as high blood pressure or atrial fibrillation
- A surgery or procedure to help decrease the chances of another transient ischemic attack.
(Click Mini-Stroke Treatment for more information on these treatment options for a mini-stroke.)