Identifying and differentiating stroke and stroke mimics
Intended for healthcare professionals
Evidence and practice    

Identifying and differentiating stroke and stroke mimics

Elmer Javier Catangui Nurse specialist in stroke care, Nursing services, King Abdulaziz Medical City, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Why you should read this article:
  • To understand how to differentiate between stroke and a stroke mimic in patients

  • To enhance your awareness of the assessment techniques and diagnostic tools available to identify stroke mimics

  • To improve care delivery by ensuring that patients receive an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment

Stroke mimics are common differential diagnoses of stroke. This article describes common stroke mimics and their presentations. It provides nurses with an overview of how to distinguish stroke mimics from a stroke, and practical information on triaging and diagnosing stroke and stroke mimics in the clinical setting. Stroke and stroke mimics have several similarities and several important differences. A comprehensive patient history, clinical examination, use of assessment tools and the results of medical imaging can guide nurses to differentiate stroke from a stroke mimic.

Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2019.e11110


Catangui EJ (2019) Identifying and differentiating stroke and stroke mimics. Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748.2019.e11110

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software



Conflict of interest

None declared

Published online: 18 February 2019

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