Investigation and Early Treatment of Acute Stroke
BACKGROUND: Stroke is defined by sudden loss of brain function due to interference to the blood supply of the brain or from compression of the brain related to intracerebral or subarachnoid hemorrhage. It is important to recognize that appropriate evaluation and management of patients with stroke can reduce the associated morbidity and risk of recurrence.
METHODS: We review the guidelines for management of patients with ischemic stroke, intracerebral and subarachnoid hemorrhage provided by American Heart Association. We provide a concise account of the general principles of evaluation and management of patients who present with acute stroke.
RESULTS: Since the availability of thrombolytic therapy, it is important to screen all patients with acute stroke for eligibility to receive intravenous (or intraarterial) thrombolysis. Familiarity to mandatory aspects about history, neuroimaging, and laboratory work-up is helpful in expedient decision-making. Appropriate diagnostic tests are important to detect an underlying predisposing condition that can result in recurrent ischemic events. Depending upon the predisposing condition long-term antiplatelet or antocoagulant therapy can reduce the risk of recurrence.
CONCLUSION: Efforts directed towards appropriate evaluation and management of patients with acute stroke can reduce the associated morbidity and risk of recurrence.
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).