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What can I expect during phase 2 therapy for an ischemic stroke?

The acute and subacute phase therapy for ischemic stroke begins after thrombolytic treatment has ended, or if your doctors decide not to use thrombolytic treatment. Phase 2 therapy can last several days, until you receive a confirmed, precise clinical diagnosis and begin therapy to prevent another stroke.

During phase 2, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) images of your brain may be taken to look for further damage from the stroke. If you did not seek medical help during the hyperacute (early) phase, doctors will go directly to acute phase therapy and try to determine whether an artery is blocked and, if so, where and why. Intravenous antithrombotic (anticoagulant) medication is often used during phase 2 therapy to prevent further clotting. If you've had an embolic stroke, you may also undergo echocardiography, heart monitoring, and various laboratory tests. These can help the doctor predict your risk of developing a blood clot in the heart.

Thrombolytic medication is not an option during phase 2 because of the risk of hemorrhage. An area of the brain already damaged by a stroke can hemorrhage drastically beyond the area already affected by the clot.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.