An intracerebral hemorrhage occurs when a blood vessel or aneurysm bursts inside the brain.
Intracerebral hemorrhage is one of two types of brain bleeds that occur when a blood vessel or aneurysm bursts inside the brain tissue itself. As the blood collects into a clot (called a hematoma), it places increased pressure on the surrounding brain tissue. An intracerebral hemorrhage can occur anywhere in the brain, but often takes place in the cerebrum—the part of the brain that controls cognitive function, fine motor control, eye movement and procedural learning. Ten percent of strokes are caused by intracerebral hemorrhage.
Causes of Intracerebral Hemorrhage
Certain risk factors are associated with intracerebral hemorrhages, such as:
- Blood thinners
- Head trauma
- Bleeding disorders
- Amyloid angiopathy
- Drug usage
Symptoms of Intracerebral Hemorrhage
Symptoms of an intracerebral hemorrhage usually come on suddenly and can vary depending on the location of the bleed. You should call 911 or visit the hospital if you experience the following symptoms:
- Headache, nausea and vomiting
- Lethargy or confusion
- Sudden weakness or numbness of the face, arm or leg, usually on one side
- Loss of consciousness
- Temporary loss of vision
Diagnosis for Intracerebral Hemorrhage
If you start experiencing symptoms of an intracerebral hemorrhage, it’s important to seek immediate treatment—preferably at a comprehensive stroke center that is equipped to identify and halt the bleeding before additional damage occurs, like Tampa General Hospital. Our doctors will quickly assess your condition, learn as much about your symptoms as possible, current and previous medical problems, medications and family history. Diagnostic tests will also be used help determine the source of the bleeding. These include:
- Computed tomography (CT) scan
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
Treatment for Intracerebral Hemorrhage
Comprehensive treatment is needed for an intracerebral hemorrhage and may include lifesaving measures, symptom relief and complication prevention. Once the cause and location of the bleeding is identified, medical or surgical treatment is performed to stop the bleeding, remove the clot and relieve the pressure on the brain. Through our stroke program, we provide a comprehensive range of treatments, including emergency interventions, surgical procedures to reduce the risk of re-bleeding and rehabilitation services to assist with recovery.