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What is an intracerebral hemorrhage?
An intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) occurs when blood leaks out of a small artery in the brain and pushes into the brain tissue. About 10 percent of strokes are caused by intracerebral hemorrhages. An ICH is most commonly caused by long-standing (but untreated) high blood pressure. Less common causes include arteriovenous malformations (AVM), aneurysms, tumors, traumatic brain injury, amyloid angiopathy or infection.
What are the symptoms of an intracerebral hemorrhage
Bleeding in the brain is a very serious condition that must be treated immediately. Symptoms may come on very suddenly and can include:
- Sudden weakness
- Loss of vision and/or speech
- Numbness or paralysis on one side of the body
- Loss of consciousness
How is an intracerebral hemorrhage diagnosed?
If you experience the symptoms of an ICH, our team of cerebrovascular specialists will perform a rapid evaluation of your condition. We will use a variety of advanced imaging techniques to help determine the cause and location of the bleed. These tests may include:
- Computed tomography (CT) scan is used to examine brain tissue to locate and assess the extent of intracerebral hemorrhage.
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans are used to evaluate the brain tissue for location and causes of ICH.
- Cerebral angiography provides detailed images of the blood vessels in the brain to assess for causes of bleeding.
- Electroencephalogram (EEG) detects and records electrical activity in the brain to evaluate for seizures caused by ICH.
How is an intracerebral hemorrhage treated?
UCLA is a comprehensive stroke center, which means you will receive the highest level of care when admitted through our emergency room or by direct transfer for treatment of an ICH. Your neurosurgical team will immediately focus on stabilizing your condition.
If we determine that surgery is appropriate, our surgeons specialize in minimally invasive techniques such as:
- Endoscopic ICH evacuation: During this procedure, the surgeon inserts a small tube into the brain. Using an endoscope (a small camera) inserted into this port, we are able to see the hemorrhage and safely remove it with minimal disruption to the surrounding brain tissue.