A TIA is a neurologic deficit that resolves within 24 h (although more than 80 percent resolve within 30 min) and is most commonly associated with thrombotic strokes. The incidence of prior TIAs is 50 to 75 percent in patients with subsequent thrombotic, extracranial carotid artery strokes, but only 10 percent in all other stroke types. TIAs have been thought to cause reversible brain injury; however, recent studies indicate that over 60 percent may be associated with computed tomography (CT) findings of infarction. The true significance of TIAs is their associated 5 to 6 percent risk of stroke per year.
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