The frequency, characteristics and aetiology of stroke mimic presentations a narrative reviewMcClelland, Grahama,c; Rodgers, Helena; Flynn, Darrenb; Price, Christopher I.aEuropean Journal of Emergency Medicine: February 2019 - Volume 26 - Issue 1 - p 2–8 doi: 10.1097/MEJ.0000000000000550 REVIEW ARTICLES Buy SDC Abstract Author InformationAuthors Article MetricsMetrics 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. aStroke Research Group, Institute of Neuroscience bInstitute of Health and Society, Newcastle University cNorth East Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust, Newcastle, UK Correspondence to Graham McClelland, MClinRes, Stroke Research Group, Institute of Neuroscience, Newcastle University, 3-4 Claremont Terrace, Newcastle Upon Tyne NE2 4AE, UK Tel: +44 191 208 6232; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Received October 7, 2017 Accepted February 18, 2018 Copyright © 2019 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.