A doctor or team of doctors should see her and evaluate the type of stroke she suffered from and determine the specific areas of her brain that were affected by the stroke. They also need to rule out other possible causes, such as a brain tumor or a drug reaction. The doctor could use several tests to determine risk of stroke, including:
A doctor will want to know what medications she took and whether she has experienced any head injuries. She will be asked about her personal and family history of heart disease or stroke. Her doctor will check her blood pressure and use a stethoscope to listen to her heart and to listen for a whooshing sound (bruit) over your neck (carotid) arteries, which may indicate atherosclerosis.
There are several blood tests, which provide important information such as how fast her blood clots, whether her blood sugar is abnormally high or low, whether critical blood chemicals are out of balance, or whether she may have an infection. Her blood's clotting time and levels of sugar and key chemicals must be managed as part of your stroke care. Infections also must be treated.
Computerized tomography (CT) scan uses a series of X-rays to create a detailed image of your brain. A CT scan can show a brain hemorrhage, tumors, strokes and other conditions. Doctors may inject a dye into her blood vessels to view her blood vessels in her neck and brain in greater detail (computerized tomography angiography).
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). An MRI uses powerful radio waves and magnets to create a detailed view of your brain. An MRI can detect brain tissue damaged by an ischemic stroke and brain hemorrhages. Sometimes a doctor may inject a dye into a blood vessel to view the arteries and veins and highlight blood flow (magnetic resonance angiography, or magnetic resonance venography).
Carotid ultrasound. In this test, sound waves create detailed images of the inside of the carotid arteries in the neck. This test shows buildup of fatty deposits (plaques) and blood flow in carotid arteries.
Cerebral angiogram. In this test, her doctor inserts a thin, flexible tube (catheter) through a small incision, usually in your groin, and guides it through your major arteries and into your carotid or vertebral artery. Then your doctor injects a dye into her blood vessels to make them visible under X-ray imaging. This procedure gives a detailed view of arteries in your brain and neck.