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Videoconferencing can increase patient access to stroke specialists
Date:5/11/2009

the Rhode Island Hospital in Providence, R.I. "Because we know the high risk of a future stroke, this is a golden opportunity to prevent a catastrophic event." [Dr. Easton talks about TIA vs. stroke, and the need for urgent care].

The traditional, clinical definition of TIA, which dates to the mid-1960s, is "a sudden, focal neurological deficit of presumed vascular origin lasting less than 24 hours," the authors wrote.

In the new statement, the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association changes the definition to "a transient episode of neurological dysfunction caused by focal brain, spinal cord or retinal ischemia, without acute infarction." Infarction is tissue death, the main distinction between TIA and stroke. Infarction can be determined by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

"Research around the globe has shown that the arbitrary threshold based on duration of symptoms was too broad, because up to half of TIAs defined this way actually caused sustained brain injury according to an MRI," Easton said. Medical advances have made it easier to tell whether a patient has had a TIA or stroke, so an MRI is key to diagnosing a TIA, according to the paper.

According to the paper, 10 percent to 15 percent of TIA patients experience a stroke within three months of a TIA, with half of those strokes occurring in the first 48 hours after TIA.


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Contact: Maggie Francis
maggie.francis@heart.org
214-706-1382
American Heart Association
Source:Eurekalert

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