What should be included in the physical exam for 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 physical examination always includes a careful head and neck examination for signs of trauma, infection, and meningeal irritation. A careful search for the cardiovascular causes of stroke requires examination of the following:

  • Ocular fundi (retinopathy, emboli, hemorrhage)

  • Heart (irregular rhythm, murmur, gallop)

  • Peripheral vasculature (palpation of carotid, radial, and femoral pulses; auscultation for carotid bruit)


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