Inclusion CriteriaAll consecutive patients (above the age of 18) who are admitted with a suspected ischemic stroke within 24 hours of symptom onset are eligible.
Ischemic stroke is defined as an acute localized ischemic lesion in the brain not attributable to central nervous system infection, tumor, demyelinating, or degenerative neurologic diseases due to an occlusive vascular disorder.
Detailed Inclusion Criteria:
1. Rapid onset of a focal neurologic deficit, with signs or symptoms persisting beyond 24 hours & NOT associated with:
- tumor of the brain
- severe metabolic disorders
- chronic degenerative neurologic disease
2. The development of an acute focal neurologic deficit persisting >24 hours in conjunction with brain imaging consistent with acute ischemic stroke.
The CT or MRI may either show a new infarct or no change from the study performed at entry, i.e. the diagnosis is clinical and does not require CT/MRI confirmation. Secondary hemorrhagic infarction is permissible.
Exclusion Criteria1. Hemorrhagic stroke
2. All patients discharged from the hospital with a diagnosis different from ischemic stroke (i.e. stroke mimics)