Author: Peter Bakes, M.D
- Intracerebral hemorrhage is an intracranial bleed within the brain tissue or ventricles.
- Subarachnoid aneurysm causes about 50% of all ICH.
- Amyloid deposition can lead to ICH in elderly patients.
- Hypertension is another common cause of atraumatic ICH, commonly leading to pontine, cerebellar, or basal ganglial bleeding. Bleeding in other locations is suggestive of a different etiology.
- ICH will often present with depressed mental status, but specifically a patient with a systolic BP > 220 is suggestive of hypertensive ICH.
- CT is the first diagnostic step. CTA should be considered when the bleeding is in an atypical area. Significant edema on imaging can be suggestive of a tumor.
- Treatment should include hemostatic measures and BP control. Transfuse platelets if necessary and reverse any anticoagulation. BP target is <140 systolic. Monitor ICP if patient has AMS. Neurosurgical intervention is indicated when there is significant expansion of the hematoma with AMS or if the bleed is cerebellar.
References: Sahni R, Weinberger J. Management of intracerebral hemorrhage. Vascular Health and Risk Management. 2007;3(5):701-709. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2291314/