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Emergency Medical Minute


Feb 13, 2019

Author: Peter Bakes, MD

Educational Pearl:


  • Transient ischemic attack (TIA) is defined as neurologic symptoms that resolve in 24 hours with no new changes on head imaging
  • Mimics include complex migraine, carotid dissection, seizure (Todd’s paralysis)
  • Typical presentation is with sudden onset of negative symptoms such as numbness, weakness, etc. 
  • Mimics tend to have positive symptoms such as photophobia, pain, etc.



Kernan WN, Ovbiagele B, Black HR, et al. Guidelines for the prevention of stroke in patients with stroke and transient ischemic attack: a guideline for healthcare professionals from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. Stroke 2014; 45:2160.

Simmons B, et al. Transient Ischemic Attack: Part I. Diagnosis and Evaluation. American Family Physician 2012; 86(6):521-526.

Summarized by Travis Barlock, MS4 | Edited by Erik Verzemnieks, MD