TIA patients need more diagnostic testing

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Feb. 28, 2005

Print  |   Email  |   Respond  |   Reprints  |   Like Facebook  |   Share Twitter  |   Tweet Linkedin

Patients who have transient ischemic attacks receive less aggressive diagnostic testing, treatment and education compared with stroke patients, which is a missed opportunity to prevent permanent disability or death, researchers reported at the American Stroke Assn.'s International Conference 2005 held in New Orleans in early February.

About one-third of people who have TIAs will go on to have a major stroke within five years unless they have preventive therapy.

The retrospective study evaluated diagnostic tests, therapy and education of 91 TIA patients, compared with 94 stroke patients. Patient's average age was 73; most were white, and 58% were women.

TIA patients received less diagnostic testing than did stroke patients, but nearly all TIA and stroke patients underwent a brain CT scan. An MRI was performed on 69% of TIA patients and 72% of stroke patients.

Ultrasound tests, which are important in identifying stroke risk and planning therapeutic interventions, were performed in a much lower percentage of TIA patients than stroke patients. Of the TIA patients, 34% had echocardiography, compared with 60% of stroke patients.

"All the diagnostic tests performed on stroke patients should be performed on TIA patients, because TIA represents a ticking time bomb," said Bhuvaneswari Dandapani, MD, medical director of the stroke center at Holmes Regional Medical Center in Melbourne, Fla., and lead author of the study.

Note: This item originally appeared at

Back to top



Read story

Confronting bias against obese patients

Medical educators are starting to raise awareness about how weight-related stigma can impair patient-physician communication and the treatment of obesity. Read story

Read story


American Medical News is ceasing publication after 55 years of serving physicians by keeping them informed of their rapidly changing profession. Read story

Read story

Policing medical practice employees after work

Doctors can try to regulate staff actions outside the office, but they must watch what they try to stamp out and how they do it. Read story

Read story

Diabetes prevention: Set on a course for lifestyle change

The YMCA's evidence-based program is helping prediabetic patients eat right, get active and lose weight. Read story

Read story

Medicaid's muddled preventive care picture

The health system reform law promises no-cost coverage of a lengthy list of screenings and other prevention services, but some beneficiaries still might miss out. Read story

Read story

How to get tax breaks for your medical practice

Federal, state and local governments offer doctors incentives because practices are recognized as economic engines. But physicians must know how and where to find them. Read story

Read story

Advance pay ACOs: A down payment on Medicare's future

Accountable care organizations that pay doctors up-front bring practice improvements, but it's unclear yet if program actuaries will see a return on investment. Read story

Read story

Physician liability: Your team, your legal risk

When health care team members drop the ball, it's often doctors who end up in court. How can physicians improve such care and avoid risks? Read story

  • Stay informed
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • RSS
  • LinkedIn