What are the goals of the physical exam in suspected ischemic stroke?

Updated: May 27, 2020
  • Author: Edward C Jauch, MD, MS, FAHA, FACEP; Chief Editor: Helmi L Lutsep, MD  more...
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Answer

The goals of the physical examination are as follows:

  • Detect extracranial causes of stroke symptoms

  • Distinguish stroke from stroke mimics

  • Determine and document for future comparison the degree of neurologic deficit (NIH Stroke Scale)

  • Localize the lesion

  • Identify comorbidities

  • Identify conditions that may influence treatment decisions (eg, recent surgery or trauma, active bleeding, active infection)


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