Spontaneous brain hemorrhage accounts for about 10% of all strokes and is fatal in about 50% of the cases. Its incidence, in contrast to other types of strokes, has not declined. Hypertension accounts for about half of these hemorrhages; the rest are due to tumors, aneurysms and vascular malformations, inflammatory and degenerative vasculopathies and hematologic and iatrogenic disorders of coagulation. In some patients no cause is ever found. Hypertensive brain hemorrhage occurs in the deep gray nuclei of the hemispheres, the cerebellum, and the pons and results in specific clinical syndromes depending on the location. Computerized tomography has revolutionized the diagnosis of brain hemorrhage and is resulting in the development of rational criteria for medical and surgical management of these lesions. Intensive medical therapy guided by clinical status and continuous monitoring of ICP may improve outcome. Surgical removal of the hematoma is indicated in lobar and putaminal hemorrhages when the patient is deteriorating in spite of vigorous medical therapy. In addition most large (greater than 3 cm) cerebellar hemorrhages, as well as smaller cerebellar hemorrhages that result in significant brain stem compression should be evaluated. The roles of intensive medical therapy, elective late surgery and of immediate operation in improving eventual functional outcome need to be investigated further.
- Copyright © 1983 by American Heart Association