What is the role of toxicology screening and arterial blood gas studies in the workup of 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

Toxicology screening may be useful in selected patients in order to assist in identifying intoxicated patients with symptoms/behavior mimicking stroke syndromes or to identify sympathomemetic (cocaine) use, which may be the cause of the ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke . In patients with suspected hypoxemia, arterial blood gas studies define the severity of hypoxemia and may detect acid-base disturbances. However, arterial punctures should be avoided unless absolutely necessary in patients being considered for fibrinolytic therapy.


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