The frequency, characteristics and aetiology of stroke mimic presentations: a narrative review

McClelland, Graham, Rodgers, Helen, Flynn, Darren and Price, Christopher I. (2019) The frequency, characteristics and aetiology of stroke mimic presentations: a narrative review. European Journal of Emergency Medicine, 26 (1). pp. 2-8. ISSN 0969-9546

The_frequency_characteristics_and_aetiology_of_stroke.pdf - Accepted Version

Download (285kB) | Preview
Official URL:


A significant proportion of patients with acute stroke symptoms have an alternative ‘mimic’ diagnosis. A narrative review was carried out to explore the frequency, characteristics and aetiology of stroke mimics. Prehospital and thrombolysis-treated patients were described separately. Overall, 9972 studies were identified from the initial search and 79 studies were included with a median stroke mimic rate of 19% (range: 1–64%). The prehospital median was 27% (range: 4–43%) and the thrombolysis median 10% (range: 1–25%). Seizures, migraines and psychiatric disorders are the most frequently reported causes of stroke mimics. Several characteristics are consistently associated with stroke mimics; however, they do not fully exclude the possibility of stroke. Nineteen per cent of suspected stroke patients had a mimic condition. Stroke mimics were more common with younger age and female sex. The range of mimic diagnoses, a lack of clear differentiating characteristics and the short treatment window for ischaemic stroke create challenges for early identification.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding information: The Stroke Association (ref TSA PGF 2015/01) The Stroke Association (17RA_04) PEARS Programme Grant for Applied Research Programme funded by the National Institute for Health Research (RP-PG1211-20012)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Stroke mimic, narrative review, prehospital, thrombolysis
Subjects: A300 Clinical Medicine
B900 Others in Subjects allied to Medicine
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Nursing, Midwifery and Health
Depositing User: Rachel Branson
Date Deposited: 12 Nov 2021 10:36
Last Modified: 12 Nov 2021 10:45

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics