Alternative Names intraparenchymal brain haemorrhage, intracranial haemorrhage
Definition Intracerebral haemorrhage is a term for bleeding into the brain.
What is going on in the body? When blood leaks into the brain for any reason, it can have significant consequences. The brain controls many functions in the body. An intracerebral haemorrhage can damage the cells that control these functions, resulting in temporary or permanent disability or death.
What are the signs and symptoms of the condition? Symptoms of an intracerebral haemorrhage depend on the location and amount of bleeding. They may include:
treatment with medications that thin the blood, such as anticoagulants or thrombolytics
What can be done to prevent the condition? Proper control of high blood pressure with medications can help prevent some intracerebral haemorrhages. Avoiding cocaine and amphetamine use can also help prevent this condition. A person who takes anticoagulant medications for long periods of time must be monitored. Many cases cannot be prevented.
How is the condition diagnosed? The history and physical examination are the first steps in diagnosis of intracerebral haemorrhage. X-ray tests may be done to show the location and amount of the blood in the brain. These tests may include:
These x-ray tests can show the location and amount of the blood in the brain.
What are the long-term effects of the condition? Intracerebral haemorrhage can cause permanent neurologic damage. A person may be unable to perform self-care activities, walk, or talk normally.
What are the risks to others? An intracerebral haemorrhage is not contagious, and poses no risks to others.
What are the treatments for the condition? Intracerebral haemorrhage is a severe condition requiring prompt medical attention. Treatment goals include lifesaving interventions, supportive measures, and control of symptoms. Treatment depends on the location, extent, and cause of the bleeding. Often, treatment cannot reverse the damage that has been done.
A craniotomy is sometimes done to remove blood, abnormal blood vessels, or a tumour. Medications may be used to reduce swelling, prevent seizures, lower blood pressure, and control pain.
What happens after treatment for the condition? A person with an intracerebral haemorrhage may recover completely, have permanent neurologic injury, or even die. The care after treatment depends on the person's needs and condition.
How is the condition monitored? After initial diagnosis and treatment of an intracerebral haemorrhage, measures to correct or monitor the underlying cause of the bleeding may be taken. For example, a person's high blood pressure may be watched closely and treated aggressively to prevent a second bleeding episode.
Author: Adam Brochert, MD Reviewer: HealthAnswers Australia Medical Review Panel Editor: Dr David Taylor, Chief Medical Officer HealthAnswers Australia Last Updated: 1/10/2001 Contributors Potential conflict of interest information for reviewers available on request
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