Hemorrhagic Stroke: Symptoms and Causes | Tampa General


A hemorrhagic stroke can trigger severe swelling and place a significant amount of pressure on the brain, which can result in long-term tissue damage if not promptly alleviated. Only about 15% of all strokes are classified as hemorrhagic.  

This type of stroke can occur in two different locations: 

  • If it occurs in the brain itself, it is called an intracerebral hemorrhage. 
  • If it occurs in the space around the brain, it is called a subarachnoid hemorrhage. 

Hemorrhagic Stroke Causes

Hemorrhagic stroke is caused by sudden bleeding from a blood vessel inside the brain or in the space around the brain. There are various causes and risk factors associated with this type of stroke, including: 

  • Head injuries 
  • Cerebral aneurysms 
  • High blood pressure 
  • Blood vessel abnormalities, such as arteriovenous malformation (AVM) and amyloid angiopathy 
  • Blood or bleeding disorders, such as sickle cell anemia 
  • Liver disease 
  • Brain tumors 
  • Drug abuse 

Hemorrhagic Stroke Symptoms

Although hemorrhagic stroke symptoms vary from person to person, many patients experience a sudden and severe headache accompanied by: 

  • Muscle weakness 
  • Total or limited loss of consciousness 
  • Nausea and vomiting 
  • Changes in vision 
  • Loss of balance or coordination 
  • Inability to move or numbness in an arm or leg 
  • Seizures 
  • Loss of speech or difficulty understanding speech 
  • Confusion or loss of alertness 

Hemorrhagic Stroke Diagnosis 

Diagnosis of a hemorrhagic stroke is based on a thorough medical history and physical exam, and if doctors suspect bleeding inside the skull based on the patient’s symptoms, diagnostic tests can be done including: 

  • MRI 
  • CT scan 
  • Electroencephalogram (EEG) 
  • Lumbar puncture (spinal tap) 

Hemorrhagic Stroke Treatment 

Tampa General Hospital is a leading choice for hemorrhagic stroke care. Treatment for a hemorrhagic stroke depends on what caused it, where it's located and the size of the hemorrhage.  

Treatment options include: 

  • Interventional radiology 
  • Neurosurgical procedures (surgical clipping or coil embolization)  
  • Certain medications