Podcast #259: Transient Ischemic Attacks

Author: Peter Bakes, M.D.

Educational Pearls

  • A TIA is defined as focal neurological deficit that resolves within 24 hours and has negative imaging. The etiology is a transient thrombus, embolus, or narrowing of a branch of a cerebral artery.
  • Screening tests are generally negative and low-yield. MRI and vascular imaging are usually done to look for reversible causes.
  • Patients presenting with TIA are usually admitted because of a higher risk for stroke. However, there are some patients that are low-risk and do not require admission. Risk can be assessed using the “ABCD” mnemonic: Age>60, BP (history of HTN), Clinical presentation (area of deficit), Diabetes/Duration of symptoms. See reference link for scoring sheet.
  • Patients with a low enough score may be eligible for outpatient follow-up.

References: http://www.stroke.org/sites/default/files/resources/tia-abcd2-tool.pdf?docID

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