Difference Between CVA and TIA (With Table)

Humans can experience two different strokes (the flow of blood in the body either ceases or reduces). Ischemic stroke is one type of stroke, while hemorrhagic stroke is another. Ischemic stroke occurs when blood clots develop in a blood artery. However, hemorrhage stroke can occur when blood vessels burst.

CVA (cerebrovascular accident) and TIA (transient ischemic attack) are names of strokes. CVA can be caused mainly due to ischemia condition and rarely by hemorrhagic. On the other hand, TIA takes place because of ischemic strokes.


The main difference between CVA and TIA is that CVA is a cerebrovascular accident that occurs due to the gradual flow of blood in the brain or clots in the blood. On the other hand, TIA is a transient ischemic attack that also disturbs the flow of the blood to body organs but for a temporary period.

CVA is a stroke that attacks the brain if normal blood flow towards the brain is disturbed. It is a serious and fatal condition. It mostly happens in people who are obese and suffer from high blood pressure. Due to the high pressure of the blood, it may damage the brain.

A TIA stroke is non-fatal and non-dangerous and lasts for a shorter period than a traditional stroke. It arises due to a high cholesterol level. In this situation, the flow of oxygen to the brain in the human body is disturbed. People may become temporarily unconscious due to this ministroke.

Comparison Table Between CVA and TIA

Parameters of Comparison



Type of Stroke

It can be either ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke.

It is an ischemic stroke.


It is a fatal stroke that damages the brain completely.

It occurs for a temporary period.


It immediately requires medical aid.

It can be cured with antiplatelet tablets such as aspirin.


It occurs due to hypertension.

It occurs due to deposits of the plagues in an artery if a person has high cholesterol.


Reduce the intake of salt (sodium chloride) in the diet and work on the fitness level.

Consuming healthy meals and exercising is a great way to avoid TIA.

What is CVA?

CVA is a short name for cerebrovascular accidents. Cerebrovascular consists of two words (cerebral means brain and vascular means the blood carrying vessels).

So, in simple language, if any accident happens with the blood-carrying arteries that lead to the brain, it may lead to a stroke. This stroke can happen for one of two reasons. One of the causes is a decrease in blood flow throughout the body, particularly in the brain.

Obesity (fat deposits clog the arteries), diabetes (high sugar levels in the body can constrict the blood vessels), and high blood pressure are all causes that cause blood flow to be interrupted or reduced.

CVA can be caused by another issue, such as bleeding from fractured arteries in the brain, in very rare cases (hemorrhagic stroke).  It could happen if the person has been in a traumatic situation or is undergoing major surgery.

It is a dangerous and fatal condition since people may die if timely medical assistance is not provided. The symptoms of a CVA might be simple (dizziness, vomiting) or complex (paralysis of body parts, memory loss). Anti-hypertension and blood thinners are among the medications used in the treatment.

To avoid such accidents (cerebrovascular accidents), one must take simple precautions such as exercising, consuming a healthy diet, saying no to smoking and alcohol.

What is TIA?

TIA is a short name for the transient ischemic attack. Transient in the English language means for a shorter duration. So, TIA is a mini ischemic attack (lack of blood supply for a shorter time).

Such attacks happen due to the sudden disturbance of blood flow in the arteries and vessels for a few minutes (less than an hour). This type of stroke is not fatal and does not damage the brain like other serious strokes.

This condition occurs when oxygen is unable to reach all the body parts in an adequate amount. Due to this, sometimes, the brain is numbed, and people might get unconscious.

Eating fatty, salty, and sugary foods causes TIA by clogging the arteries with fat deposits, as it does in the case of other strokes. Therefore, consuming good nutrients and exercising are keys to preventing such attacks.

Sufferers are given medicine that reduces cholesterol levels in the body to normalize the effect. If this attack occurs for the second time, one should provide medical assistance to the patients.

Furthermore, MRI scanning does not reveal TIA as a stroke since only a tiny part of the brain is affected. However, if it happens frequently enough, it can be harmful to the brain and result in memory loss.

Main Differences Between CVA and TIA

  1. CVA (cerebral vascular accidents) is a formation of clots or excessive bleeding in the brain. However, TIA (transient ischemic attack) means a lack of supply of oxygen or blood to the brain.
  2. CVA can either be an ischemic attack (non-dangerous) or a hemorrhage attack (emergency condition). On the other hand, a TIA is an ischemic stroke or attack, as the name implies.
  3. CVA occurs due to high blood pressure. However, TIA mostly occurs due to deposits of fat in arteries.
  4. CVA needs medical treatment immediately. On the contrary, TIA can be treated with antiplatelet medications.
  5. The risk of CVA can be reduced by lowering the consumption of sodium chloride. On the other hand, TIA is prevented by eating healthy.


Both CVA and TIA occur due to a lack of supply of blood and oxygen inside the body. CVA is a serious accident in the medical term that could damage the brain in rare conditions. However, TIA is considered a mini-stroke that lasts less than an hour. It is not harmful, but if it happens often, it can be fatal.

Symptoms of both CVA and TIA are somewhat similar to another stroke as body numbness, dizziness. Extreme symptoms are one-side paralysis, blindness in single or both eyes. Both CVA and TIA could be prevented if consumed a balanced diet followed by regular exercise, quitting alcohol, and smoking.


  1. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/pds.2312
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0894731713002629