Cerebral hemorrhage

Cerebral hemorrhage
Cerebral hemorrhage
Classification and external resources
File:Intracerebral heamorrage
Cerebral hemorrhage
ICD-10 I61, P10.1
ICD-9 431
MeSH D002543

A cerebral hemorrhage or hemorrhage (or intracerebral hemorrhage, ICH) is a subtype of intracranial hemorrhage that occurs within the brain tissue itself. Intracerebral hemorrhage can be caused by brain trauma, or it can occur spontaneously in hemorrhagic stroke. Non-traumatic intracerebral hemorrhage is a spontaneous bleeding into the brain tissue.[1]

A cerebral hemorrhage is an intra-axial hemorrhage; that is, it occurs within the brain tissue rather than outside of it. The other category of intracranial hemorrhage is extra-axial hemorrhage, such as epidural, subdural, and subarachnoid hematomas, which all occur within the skull but outside of the brain tissue. There are two main kinds of intra-axial hemorrhages: intraparenchymal hemorrhage and intraventricular hemorrhages. As with other types of hemorrhages within the skull, intraparenchymal bleeds are a serious medical emergency because they can increase intracranial pressure, which if left untreated can lead to coma and death. The mortality rate for intraparenchymal bleeds is over 40%.[2]


Signs and symptoms

Patients with intraparenchymal bleeds have symptoms that correspond to the functions controlled by the area of the brain that is damaged by the bleed.[3] Other symptoms include those that indicate a rise in intracranial pressure due to a large mass putting pressure on the brain.[3] Intracerebral hemorrhages are often misdiagnosed as subarachnoid hemorrhages due to the similarity in symptoms and signs. A severe headache followed by vomiting is one of the more common symptoms of intracerebral hemorrhage. Some patients may also go into a coma before the bleed is noticed.


CT scan showing hemorrhage in the posterior fossa[1]

Intracerebral bleeds are the second most common cause of stroke, accounting for 30–60% of hospital admissions for stroke.[1] High blood pressure raises the risks of spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage by two to six times.[1] More common in adults than in children, intraparenchymal bleeds due to trauma are usually due to penetrating head trauma, but can also be due to depressed skull fractures. Acceleration-deceleration trauma,[4][5][6] rupture of an aneurysm or arteriovenous malformation (AVM), and bleeding within a tumor are additional causes. Amyloid angiopathy is a not uncommon cause of intracerebral hemorrhage in patients over the age of 55. A very small proportion is due to cerebral venous sinus thrombosis. Infection with the k serotype of Streptococcus mutans may also be a risk factor, due to its prevalence in stroke patients and production of collagen-binding protein.[7]

Risk factors for ICH include:[8]


Spontaneous ICH with hydrocephalus on CT scan[1]

Intraparenchymal hemorrhage can be recognized on CT scans because blood appears brighter than other tissue and is separated from the inner table of the skull by brain tissue. The tissue surrounding a bleed is often less dense than the rest of the brain due to edema, and therefore shows up darker on the CT scan.


Treatment depends substantially of the type of ICH. Rapid CT scan and other diagnostic measures are used to determine proper treatment, which may include both medication and surgery.


  • Antihypertensive therapy in acute phases. The AHA/ASA and EUSI guidelines (American Heart Association/American Stroke Association guidelines and the European Stroke Initiative guidelines) have recommended antihypertensive therapy to stabilize the mean arterial pressure at 110 mmHg. One paper showed the efficacy of this antihypertensive therapy without worsening outcome in patients of hypertensive intracerebral hemorrhage within 3 hours onset. [9]
  • Giving Factor VIIa within 4 hours limits the bleeding and formation of a hematoma. However, it also increases the risk of thromboembolism.[10]
  • Mannitol is effective in acutely reducing raised intracranial pressure.
  • Acetaminophen may be needed to avoid hyperthermia, and to relieve headache.[10]
  • Frozen plasma, vitamin K, protamine, or platelet transfusions are given in case of a coagulopathy.[10]
  • Fosphenytoin or other anticonvulsant is given in case of seizures or lobar hemorrhage.[10]
  • H2 antagonists or proton pump inhibitors are commonly given for stress ulcer prophylaxis, a condition somehow linked with ICH.[10]
  • Corticosteroids, in concert with antihypertensives, reduces swelling.[11]


Surgery is required if the hematoma is greater than 3 cm, if there is a structural vascular lesion or lobar hemorrhage in a young patient.[10]

Other treatment


The risk of death from an intraparenchymal bleed in traumatic brain injury is especially high when the injury occurs in the brain stem.[2] Intraparenchymal bleeds within the medulla oblongata are almost always fatal, because they cause damage to cranial nerve X, the vagus nerve, which plays an important role in blood circulation and breathing.[4] This kind of hemorrhage can also occur in the cortex or subcortical areas, usually in the frontal or temporal lobes when due to head injury, and sometimes in the cerebellum.[4][13]

For spontaneous ICH seen on CT scan, the death rate (mortality) is 34–50% by 30 days after the insult,[1] and half of the deaths occur in the first 2 days.[14]

The inflammatory response triggered by stroke has been viewed as harmful, focusing on the influx and migration of blood-borne leukocytes, neutrophils, and macrophages. New area of interest are the Mast Cells.[15]


It accounts for 20% of all cases of cerebrovascular disease in the US, behind cerebral thrombosis (40%) and cerebral embolism (30%).[16]

It is two or more times more prevalent in black American patients than it is in white.[17]


  1. ^ a b c d e f (? this looks wrong) Yadav YR, Mukerji G, Shenoy R, Basoor A, Jain G, Nelson A (2007). "Endoscopic management of hypertensive intraventricular haemorrhage with obstructive hydrocephalus". BMC Neurol 7: 1. doi:10.1186/1471-2377-7-1. PMC 1780056. PMID 17204141. http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2377/7/1. 
  2. ^ a b Sanders MJ and McKenna K. 2001. Mosby’s Paramedic Textbook, 2nd revised Ed. Chapter 22, "Head and Facial Trauma." Mosby.
  3. ^ a b Vinas FC and Pilitsis J. 2006. "Penetrating Head Trauma." Emedicine.com.
  4. ^ a b c McCaffrey P. 2001. "The Neuroscience on the Web Series: CMSD 336 Neuropathologies of Language and Cognition." California State University, Chico. Retrieved on June 19, 2007.
  5. ^ Orlando Regional Healthcare, Education and Development. 2004. "Overview of Adult Traumatic Brain Injuries." Retrieved on 2008-01-16.
  6. ^ Shepherd S. 2004. "Head Trauma." Emedicine.com. Retrieved on June 19, 2007.
  7. ^ Kazuhiko Nakano et al.. "The collagen-binding protein of Streptococcus mutans is involved in haemorrhagic stroke". Nature Communications. http://www.nature.com/ncomms/journal/v2/n9/full/ncomms1491.html. 
  8. ^ Major Risk Factors for Intracerebral Hamorrhage in the Young Are Modifiable Edward Feldmann, MD; Joseph P. Broderick, MD; Walter N. Kernan, MD; Catherine M. Viscoli, PhD; Lawrence M. Brass, MD; Thomas Brott, MD; Lewis B. Morgenstern, MD; Janet Lee Wilterdink, MD Ralph I. Horwitz, MD. Published in Stroke. 2005;36:1881.
  9. ^ Fujii M et al. J Clin Neurosci 17:1136-9,2010 PMID:20541417
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i eMedicine Specialties > Neurology > Neurological Emergencies > Intracranial Haemorrhage: Treatment & Medication. By David S Liebeskind, MD. Updated: Aug 7, 2006
  11. ^ MedlinePlus - Intracerebral haemorrhage Update Date: 7/14/2006. Updated by: J.A. Lee, M.D.
  12. ^ Cedars-Sinai Health System - Cerebral Hemorrhages Retrieved on 02/25/2009
  13. ^ Graham DI and Gennareli TA. Chapter 5, "Pathology of Brain Damage After Head Injury" Cooper P and Golfinos G. 2000. Head Injury, 4th Ed. Morgan Hill, New York.
  14. ^ Guidelines for the Management of Spontaneous Intracerebral Hemorrhage in Adults
  15. ^ [1] Lindsberg e.a.: Mast cells as early responders in the regulation of acute blood–brain barrier changes after cerebral ischemia and hemorrhage
  16. ^ Page 117 in: Henry S. Schutta; Lechtenberg, Richard (1998). Neurology practice guidelines. New York: M. Dekker. ISBN 0-8247-0104-6. 
  17. ^ Copenhaver BR, Hsia AW, Merino JG, et al. (October 2008). "Racial differences in microbleed prevalence in primary intracerebral hemorrhage". Neurology 71 (15): 1176–82. doi:10.1212/01.wnl.0000327524.16575.ca. PMC 2676986. PMID 18838665. http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?tool=pmcentrez&artid=2676986. 

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • cerebral hemorrhage — n the bleeding into the tissue of the brain and esp. of the cerebrum from a ruptured blood vessel * * * hemorrhage into the cerebrum, an often fatal type of stroke syndrome. Called also intracerebral, intraparenchymal, or parenchymatous h …   Medical dictionary

  • cerebral hemorrhage — noun bleeding from a ruptured blood vessel in the brain • Hypernyms: ↑bleeding, ↑hemorrhage, ↑haemorrhage • Part Holonyms: ↑stroke, ↑apoplexy, ↑cerebrovascular accident, ↑CVA * * * …   Useful english dictionary

  • cerebral hemorrhage — Pathol. hemorrhage from a blood vessel into the cerebrum, often followed by neurologic damage; a type of stroke. [1870 75] * * * …   Universalium

  • cerebral hemorrhage — n. (Medicine) bleeding within the cerebrum …   English contemporary dictionary

  • cerebral hemorrhage —   A a moku i ke po o. Cf. stroke3 …   English-Hawaiian dictionary

  • cerebral hemorrhage — A flooding of the brain by blood, resulting from the breaking of a blood vessel …   Ballentine's law dictionary

  • artery of cerebral hemorrhage — one of the larger lateral striate branches of the middle cerebral artery, which is a common site of cerebral hemorrhage …   Medical dictionary

  • Cerebral arteriovenous malformation — Classification and external resources Large arteriovenous malformation of the parietal lobe ICD 10 Q …   Wikipedia

  • Cerebral infarction — Cerebral infarct Classification and external resources CT scan slice of the brain showing a right hemispheric cerebral infarct (left side of image). ICD 10 I 63 …   Wikipedia

  • Cerebral amyloid angiopathy — Classification and external resources Micrograph showing cerebral amyloid angiopathy. Congo red stain. DiseasesDB …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”