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Diagnosis and assessment of stroke 

Diagnosis and assessment of stroke
Chapter:
Diagnosis and assessment of stroke
Author(s):

Candice Delcourt

and Craig Anderson

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199600830.003.0235
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date: 26 January 2021

Approximately 20 million strokes occur in the world each year and over one-quarter of these are fatal. This makes stroke the second most common cause of death, after ischaemic heart disease, and strokes are responsible for 6 million deaths (almost 10% of all deaths) annually. Stroke has major consequences in terms of residual physical disability, depression, dementia, epilepsy, and carer burden. Moreover, around 20% of survivors experience a further stroke or serious vascular event within a few years of the index event. Ischaemic stroke contributes the greatest share of the impact of stroke, with a rate of approximately 1 in 1000 person-years and accounting for between 60% (in Asia) and 90% (in Western ‘white’ populations) of all strokes around the world. Diagnosis and assessment are essentially clinical and confirmed by CT or MRI scanning. Prognostication is difficult in the early phase of haemorrhagic stroke and in ischaemic stroke is affected by the availability and timely use of treatments to recanalize the occluded vessel.

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