[Summary of the practice guideline 'CVA' from the Dutch College of General Practitioners].
ABSTRACT The practice guideline 'CVA' from the Dutch College of General Practitioners provides guidelines for the management of stroke patients. The guideline is in agreement with the changing insights about the benefits of stroke-units and thrombolysis. The most important recommendations are the following. In the acute phase, most patients with a cerebrovascular accident should be referred for admission to a stroke-unit. Exceptions are patients with only slight neurological disability and patients with severe comorbidity. Patients with a CVA that started less than three hours ago should be referred for emergency thrombolytic therapy in regions where this possibility exists. In situations in which the general practitioner considers a home visit to involve an unacceptable loss of time, he may decide to refer on the basis of the results of the 'face-arm-speech-time' (FAST) test, which can be administered by telephone. For patients that remain at home, the general practitioner sees to the early start of a rehabilitation programme, and takes the initiative if necessary. The general practitioner can support stroke patients with permanent neurological deficits by considering them to be chronically ill patients requiring regular check-ups.