Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Is It A Mini-stroke? Three Clinical Features Identified To Avoid Misdiagnosis Of Transient Ischemic Attacks

Date:
November 18, 2008
Source:
Rush University Medical Center
Summary:
Researchers have identified three bedside clinical features that can help more accurately distinguish transient ischemic attacks from disorders that might mimic their symptoms.

For mini-strokes, or transient ischemic attacks (TIAs), both overdiagnosis and underdiagnosis can be perilous. Overdiagnosis neglects the real underlying illness. Underdiagnosis leaves a patient at risk of a full-fledged stroke. Both expose patients to erroneous therapies with potential side effects.

Related Articles


And yet, TIAs are difficult to assess because, by definition, the neurological dysfunction that results is so brief. By the time the patient arrives at a doctor's office or an emergency room, the symptoms are often gone.

Now, researchers at Rush University Medical Center have identified three bedside clinical features that can help more accurately distinguish TIAs from disorders that might mimic their symptoms.

Two neurologists at Rush University Medical Center, Dr. Shyam Prabhakaran, lead author of the study and head of the stroke service, and Dr. Vivien Lee examined the records of 100 emergency room patients who had an initial diagnosis of TIA and were admitted for further evaluation. Only 40, or 40 percent, of these cases turned out to be true TIAs.

The researchers were able to identify three clinical features that, together, correctly classified 79 percent of the cases.

"Speed of onset, we found, was the strongest indicator of a TIA. I typically ask my patients if their symptoms came on like lightning, within seconds," Prabhakaran said. "With other neurological problems that can mimic a TIA – migraines or seizures, for example – symptoms take more than a minute to manifest themselves."

The researchers found that a TIA was unlikely if a patient reported nonspecific symptoms, such as lightheadedness, tightness in the chest or stomach upset, along with the neurological dysfunction.

A TIA was also unlikely if the patient had a history of similar episodes where a TIA was ruled out.

"It's important not to miss a diagnosis of TIA, as these attacks can be harbingers of stroke and patients need to be treated," Prabhakaran said. "But at the same time, we don't want to overdiagnose TIAs. Overdiagnosis subjects patients to the risks of unnecessary and potentially dangerous medications and tests, and leaves their actual condition untreated or inadequately managed."

Approximately 240,000 TIAs are diagnosed in the United States each year. TIAs carry a particularly high short-term risk of stroke, and about 15 percent of diagnosed strokes are preceded by TIAs. Symptoms vary widely from person to person, depending on the area of the brain affected. The most frequent symptoms include temporary loss of vision, difficulty speaking and weakness, numbness or tingling on one side of the body.

The study has just been published online and will appear in the December issue of Cerebrovascular Diseases.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Rush University Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Rush University Medical Center. "Is It A Mini-stroke? Three Clinical Features Identified To Avoid Misdiagnosis Of Transient Ischemic Attacks." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 November 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081110171350.htm>.
Rush University Medical Center. (2008, November 18). Is It A Mini-stroke? Three Clinical Features Identified To Avoid Misdiagnosis Of Transient Ischemic Attacks. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 30, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081110171350.htm
Rush University Medical Center. "Is It A Mini-stroke? Three Clinical Features Identified To Avoid Misdiagnosis Of Transient Ischemic Attacks." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081110171350.htm (accessed January 30, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Friday, January 30, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Binge-Watching TV Linked To Loneliness

Binge-Watching TV Linked To Loneliness

Newsy (Jan. 29, 2015) Researchers at University of Texas at Austin found a link between binge-watching TV shows and feelings of loneliness and depression. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Signs You Might Be The Passive Aggressive Friend

Signs You Might Be The Passive Aggressive Friend

BuzzFeed (Jan. 28, 2015) "No, I&apos;m not mad. Why, are you mad?" Video provided by BuzzFeed
Powered by NewsLook.com
City Divided: A Look at Model Schools in the TDSB

City Divided: A Look at Model Schools in the TDSB

The Toronto Star (Jan. 27, 2015) Model schools are rethinking how they engage with the community to help enhance the lives of the students and their parents. Video provided by The Toronto Star
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Saves Pennies For 65 Years

Man Saves Pennies For 65 Years

Rooftop Comedy (Jan. 26, 2015) A man in Texas saved every penny he found for 65 years, and this week he finally cashed them in. Bank tellers at Prosperity Bank in Slaton, Texas were shocked when Ira Keys arrived at their bank with over 500 pounds of loose pennies stored in coffee cans. After more than an hour of sorting and counting, it turned out the 81 year-old was in possession of 81,600 pennies, or $816. And he&apos;s got more at home! Video provided by Rooftop Comedy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins