Intracerebral Hemorrhage

An intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) is a very serious type of stroke that results when an artery or vein in the brain bursts. As blood leaks out, it forms a blood clot (hematoma), which can press on the brain and damage brain cells. The most common causes of ICH are high blood pressure, arteriovenous malformations (abnormal connections between arteries and veins), brain tumors, emboli and head injuries.



An ICH is a medical emergency and must be treated immediately. Symptoms of intracerebral hemorrhage include:

  • Confusion
  • Headache
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Temporary blindness
  • Sudden weakness or numbness (often on one side)
  • Seizures


To understand the cause of the bleeding, your doctor may order an MRI or one of the following tests:

  • Angiogram: A catheter is inserted into an artery and threaded through the circulatory system up to the brain. A dye is injected through the catheter, which allows for X-rays of the blood flow inside.
  • Computed Tomography Angiography (CTA): Dye is injected directly into the bloodstream, providing a view of arteries in the brain on a CT scan.

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Treatment Options

Once your doctors identify the source of bleeding, hematoma treatments may include:

  • Surgery, including BrainPath® technology, a minimally invasive procedure to access the hematoma through a dime-sized narrow channel, or port
  • Medication to control blood pressure

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