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Stroke. By Asma Khatoon (Rph) Hospital Pharmacist at Ziauddin Hospital, Karachi. STROKE A stroke is a medical emergency in which the blood supply to any portion of the brain is interrupted or reduced. Alternative names : Cerebrovascular accident/ disease (CVA), Cerebral infarction,

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Asma Khatoon (Rph)

Hospital Pharmacist at

Ziauddin Hospital, Karachi



  • A stroke is a medical emergency in which the blood supply to any portion of the brain is interrupted or reduced.
  • Alternative names:
  • Cerebrovascular accident/ disease (CVA),
  • Cerebral infarction,
  • Cerebral hemorrhage.
types of strokes

There are 2 main types of strokes:

  • ischaemic stroke .
  • haemorrhagic stroke.
  • Ischaemic stroke

The most common type of stroke and is caused by a blockage of the blood vessels supplying the brain. This may be due to ‘hardening’ and narrowing of the arteries (atherosclerosis) or by a blood clot blocking a blood vessel. This may be :

  • thrombotic stroke caused by a blood clot (thrombus) 
  • an embolic stroke (or cerebral embolism), 
haemorrhagic stroke
Haemorrhagic stroke
  • The most severe type of stroke is a haemorrhagic stroke. It occurs when a blood vessel in the brain bursts, allowing blood to leak and cause damage to an area of the brain.
  • There are 2 types:
  • subarachnoid haemorrhage, which occurs in the space around the brain;
  • intracerebralhaemorrhage, the more common type, which involves bleeding within the brain tissue itself.
  • The symptoms of a stroke are dependant on what portion of the brain is damage.
  • ability to perform movements — usually affecting one side of the body;
  • speech;
  • part of vision;
  • co-ordination;
  • balance;
  • memory; and
  • perception.
warning sign of stroke
warning sign of stroke :
  • Sudden weakness or numbness of the face, arm and leg on one side of the body.
  • Loss of speech, or difficulty in talking.
  • Dimness or loss of vision.
  • Unexplained dizziness, especially when associated with any of the above signs.
  • Unsteadiness or sudden falls.
  • Headache (usually severe and of sudden onset).
  • Confusion.
risk factors
risk factors
  • Cigarette smoking,
  • excessive alcohol intake,
  • being overweight and
  • raised blood cholesterol increase the risk of high blood pressure and artery disease
  • Diabetes.
  • atrial fibrillation (AF). 
tests recommended
Tests recommended :
  • Computed Tomography (CT) Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Cerebral Angiography :

identify responsible blood vessel

  • Electrocardiogram (ECG): underlying heart conditions
  • Echocardiogram: blood clot from heart Carotid Duplex: carotid artery stenosis
  • Tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) can be given within three hours from the onset of symptoms. In addition to being used to treat strokes, the following can also be used as preventative measures. Anticoagulants/Antiplatelets Carotid Endarterectomy Angioplasty/Stents