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
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.
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.
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
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
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
More on Rehabilitation »
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.