Hemorrhagic stroke is less common than ischemic stroke. It accounts for about 20% of all strokes. It has a much higher risk of fatality (death) than ischemic strokes. It results from a blood vessel rupturing and hemorrhaging into the brain tissue. The hemorrhage and the resulting edema (swelling) cause the brain to be compressed in the scull. Pressure can be exerted on the brainstem causing coma and death. In hemorrhagic strokes there is also a difference between:
- primary hemorrhage
- hemorrhagic infarct,
- an ischemic stroke in which there has been a secondary hemorrhage
Hemorrhagic stroke has two main types. Each is named according to the part of the brain affected by the bleeding: Subarachnoid hemorrhage and Intracerebral hemorrhage.
Subarachnoid hemorrhage from bleeding that occurs in the space between the surface of the brain and the skull. A common cause of subarachnoid hemorrhagic stroke is a burst aneurysm (an abnormal “bulging” of a blood vessel in the brain) or the rupture of an ateriovenous malformation, a congenitally malformed tangle of thin-walled blood vessels. You can find more information on subarachnoid hemorrhage here.
Who gets it?
Anyone with abnormalities of the arteries or blood vessels. Subarachnoid hemorrhage can occur at any age. No one is immune. A famous notable is Actress Sharon Stone whom has had a subarachnoid hemorrhage.
Intracerebral hemorrhage is caused by bleeding that occurs in the brain tissue. Most intracerebral hemorrhages are caused by a change in the arteries due to long-standing hypertension.
Who gets it?
Intracerebral hemorrhage occurs at all ages, however average age of hemorrhagic stroke is lower than for ischemic stroke.
Learn more about the causes of Hemorrhagic stroke.