Stroke is the third leading cause of death in developed countries, after heart disease and cancer, and the first cause of disability.1 Most strokes are ischemic and caused by occlusion of a cerebral artery. This leads to dysfunction and eventually death of brain tissue through lack of oxygen. This results in typical symptoms such as unilateral weakness, language disturbances, unilateral sensory disturbances, hemianopia, ataxia, or impaired speech. In the acute phase of tissue dysfunction, patients can be treated with thrombolytic agents, but treatment should be started within 4,5 hours after onset of symptoms. However, at present, only 25% of patients are eligible for this treatment, and even when patients can be treated, treatment is not always successful. 2 In many patients, cerebral ischemia is only transient and does not result in persistent symptoms and disability. These Transient Ischemic Attacks (TIAs) or minor ischemic strokes offer the opportunity to prevent major, disabling strokes or other vascular events. Secondary prevention is therefore one of the main objectives of stroke management.

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P.J. Koudstaal (Peter) , D.W.J. Dippel (Diederik)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Wijnhoud, A.D. (2012, November 22). The clinical value of transcranial Doppler ultrasonography in patients with a recent TIA or non-disabling ischemic stroke. Erasmus University Rotterdam. Retrieved from