Blood disorders have been implicated in approximately 5% to 10% of ischemic stroke, with an increased frequency in younger patients. Most disorders are associated with an increased thrombotic tendency and, therefore, an increased risk of ischemic stroke. Less commonly, a bleeding diathesis may predispose a patient to intracranial hemorrhage. While many conditions predisposing to thrombosis have been associated with stroke, there are relatively few prospective, epidemiological studies addressing hypercoagulable states and arterial stroke compared with the number of studies on the genetic thrombophilias, which are predominantly associated with venous thrombosis. When ordering tests of coagulation in stroke patients, one should keep in mind whether the results will influence therapy and/or patient outcome. It is generally not advocated to screen all stroke patients for a "hypercoagulable workup". Typically, patients to be screened for coagulation defects will have a prior history of one or more unexplained thromboembolic events. The yield for diagnosing a hypercoagulable state is typically greatest for young stroke patients or those with a family history of thrombosis and who have no other explanations for their stroke (cryptogenic stroke). The yield in typically low in unselected ischemic stroke patients and older patients. Treatment of a first stroke with a documented hypercoagulable state is typically long-term or indefinite duration warfarin, although there is a paucity of clinical trial data supporting this clinical approach.