Comprehensive Stroke Program: Services

Evaluation and Diagnosis

The UF Health Jacksonville Comprehensive Stroke Program features the latest advances in the diagnosis and treatment of stroke. The program's nurse specialists provide stroke education and screening throughout the community. University of Florida physicians at the Neuroscience Institute's Comprehensive Stroke Program diagnose stroke through a thorough review of the patient. Recognizing stroke symptoms early can greatly improve a patient's outcome.

  • Diffusion and Perfusion MRI
    Stroke patients may be evaluated by a specialized MRI that is able to detect stroke damage earlier than routine MRI and differentiate the damage from other mimicking conditions. These tests often allow our stroke-trained neurologists to employ clot-busting drugs at the earliest possible time after stroke symptom onset.

  • Computed Tomography Scan (CT Scan)
    A brain computed tomography (to-MOG-rah-fee) scan, or brain CT scan, is a painless test that uses x-rays to take clear, detailed pictures of your brain. This test often is done right after a stroke is suspected. A brain CT scan can show bleeding in the brain or damage to the brain cells from a stroke.

  • Computed Tomography Angiography (CTA)
    Computed tomography angiography (CTA) is a scan that looks at the blood vessels in a person who had a stroke to identify exactly where a blockage exists. CTA is used to determine if the person who had a stroke is a good candidate for interventional therapies.

  • Computed Tomography Perfusion (CTP)
    CT perfusion scanning is a noninvasive medical test that helps physicians diagnose and treat medical conditions. CT scanning combines special x-ray equipment with sophisticated computers to produce multiple images or pictures of the inside of the body. These images can be read within minutes with special software.

Air Transport

UF Health Jacksonville was among the first hospitals in the nation to use an air emergency service to transport stroke patients. Prompt transport by TraumaOne helicopter to the UF Health Jacksonville Comprehensive Stroke Program can improve a patient's outcome by decreasing medical complications and lowering the risks of mortality. Stroke patients in Duval County and 12 surrounding counties (including Baker, Bradford, Clay, Nassau, Putnam, St. Johns, Union, Camden, Chariton), as well as Camden County, Ga., benefit from this rapid transport service.

Treatment Options

  • Tissue Plasminogen Activator (tPA)
    University of Florida neurologists were the first in Jacksonville to routinely use tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), a drug that dissolves blood clots that block arteries leading to the brain. If administered within the first 4.5 hours of the onset of stroke symptoms, tPA may reverse the debilitating effects of stroke. tPA is not clinically appropriate for everyone. Patients who have high blood pressure, have suffered a transient ischemic attack or suffer from other illnesses may not be candidates.

  • Thrombectomy
    If you have an ischemic stroke (stroke caused by a blood clot in your brain) doctors can sometimes do a procedure called a thrombectomy to remove the clot. A doctor threads a catheter (thin, hollow tube) through an artery in the groin up to your brain. Once the catheter is in place, the doctor uses a tiny mechanical device to break up or remove the clot. This can be a tiny suction cup, fluid jet or other device. In 2018, the American Stroke Association endorsed this procedure in some patients for up to 24 hours from the last time seen normal.

  • Life Management Options
    Stroke patients may experience symptoms such as paralysis, difficulty with or loss of speech, and weakness of the limbs. University of Florida physicians treat patients with the latest therapies to assist with stroke rehabilitation and life management activities.

  • Rehabilitation
    Comprehensive Stroke Program staff members work with a variety of therapists for stroke patient rehabilitation, including physical therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, strength training and daily living skills. Patient rehabilitation progress is closely monitored and maintenance programs are prescribed for life management after stroke. More on Rehabilitation »

  • Physiatrics
    Comprehensive Stroke Program physiatrists specialize in prescribing specific physical therapies and sports medicine rehabilitation therapies for stroke patients based on their symptoms and lifestyles.

  • Education and Support Groups
    The stroke support group offers stroke patients and their families the opportunity to learn more about stroke treatments and stroke prevention. "Stroke Busters" meets on the third Thursday of each month through November from 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. in the Banquest Room, Tower 2, 10th floor, UF Health Jacksonville. Contact Vicki Coppen, RN Stroke Coordinator at (904) 244-9971 for more information.