A "bleeding stroke", also known as a Hemorrhagic stroke, is caused by bleeding in the brain as a result of a weakened area in the brain vessel that ruptures. Bleeding strokes account for 13% of all strokes. Bleeding causes the brain tissue to die because it is “drowning” in blood. Hemorrhagic strokes can be caused by a number of disorders which affect the blood vessels, including long-standing high blood pressure, cerebral aneurysms and in rare cases an arteriovenous malformation (AVM).
An aneurysm is a ballooning of a weakened area in the wall of the blood vessel. Aneurysms can grow and develop over many years and are usually asymptomatic until their size begins to affect surrounding tissue or they rupture and bleed into the brain.
An intracerebral hemorrhage is when bleeding occurs from vessels within the brain and a subarachnoid hemorrhage occurs when an aneurysm bursts in a large artery on/near the thin delicate membrane surrounding the brain. Blood spills into the fluid-filled area around the brain, which results in the brain being surrounded by contaminated fluid. The location of the aneurysm and the area of bleeding can vastly affect a patient’s potential outcome.
An AVM is a cluster of abnormally formed, “weakened” blood vessels that direct blood away from normal brain tissue. These tangled and weak vessels dilate over time and can rupture causing bleeding in the brain.