Examination in the Stroke Unit
In the University Hospital Mannheim, all the important examination methods of maximum care are available. Here, we would like to mention a few examinations which often become necessary in stroke patients.
Representation and depiction of the stroke by means of computer tomography or magnetic resonance imaging of the brain is an essential component of stroke care. Both examinations give important information as to the type, size and cause of the stroke. They are available around the clock.
For ultrasound examinations of the brain vessels, Mannheim has been deemed one of the leading centres. With the use of ultrasound, the arteries of the neck, supplying the brain with blood and blood vessels in the brain, can be examined without roentgen rays and without any danger for the patient. These procedures can be carried out continuously.
ECG and Echocardiography
Many stroke patients have concomitant heart illness. Heart problems can represent the cause as well as the consequence of a stroke. Therefore, ECG and blood pressure are continually observed in the patients of the Stroke Unit. Echocardiography (ultrasound of the heart) imparts important information as to heart function, heart illness and possible cause of the stroke.
For most patients, it is sufficient to perform an examination through the ribcage (transthoracic echocardiography). In special cases it is necessary to perform the examination down the oesophagus (transoesophageal echocardiography), which supplies more special information.
Most people generally associate stroke with paralysis or a sensation disturbance. Many patients however suffer from problems connectedwith speech, speech understanding, orientation, memory or the ability to concentrate. These disturbances are often of critical importance in terms of the patient’s prognosis. A patient may be able to manage quite well independently evenwith paralysis of an arm or leg, whereas a patient exhibiting difficulty in communication does require some assistance. In the early phase of stroke, such disturbances must be examined thoroughly, in order for suitable rehabilitation treatment to take place at a later date.
In special cases, examination of brain waves (EEG),nerve function, (nerve conduction velocity, electromyography), as well as special measurements of the function of the nervous system (motor function, sensitivity and acoustic evoked potentials), are conducted.