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TIA tests and diagnosis


If you think you have had a TIA, you need to see a doctor right away. The greatest risk of stroke is in the first 24 hours after a TIA has occurred. Your options are your usual general practice team, the GP after-hours service or the Hospital Emergency Department. But act now. Don't delay.

When you visit your general practice team, you will be asked questions about your symptoms and what happened, and you will have an examination. Depending on various risk factors, your doctor will either send you to hospital for tests and treatment, or will arrange for you to have some tests and start some treatments without you needing to go to hospital.

Possible tests you might need include:

If doctors suspect you have had a TIA you will need urgent treatment to reduce the risk of stroke. This usually means medications to prevent blood clots, and lower blood pressure and cholesterol. After starting your treatment, your doctor will arrange tests to confirm the diagnosis. Then your doctor will discuss the best long-term treatment strategies with you. Your general practice team may also talk to you about lifestyle changes that you can make to further reduce your risk of having a stroke. It's important that you don't drive for at least a month after a TIA.

On the next page: Life after a TIA

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed November 2015.

Page reference: 243561

Review key: HITIA-17463