Acute intracerebral haemorrhage: Grounds for optimism in management

Craig Anderson, Candice Delcourt

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    7 Citations (Scopus)


    Spontaneous intracerebral haemorrhage (ICH) is one of the most devastating types of stroke, which has considerable disease burden in "non-white" ethnic groups where the population-attributable risks of elevated blood pressure are very high. Since the treatment of ICH remains largely supportive and expectant, nihilism and the early withdrawal of active therapy influence management decisions in clinical practice. However, approaches to management are now better defined on the basis of evidence that both survival and speed (and degree) of recovery are critically dependent on the location, size, and degree of expansion and extension into the intraventricular system of the haematoma of the ICH. Although no medical treatment has been shown to improve outcome in ICH, several promising avenues have emerged that include haemostatic therapy and intensive control of elevated blood pressure. Conversely, there is continued controversy over the role of evacuation of the haematoma of ICH via open craniotomy. Despite being an established practice for several decades, and having undergone evaluation in multiple randomised trials, there is uncertainty over which patients have the most to gain from an intervention with clear procedural risk. Minimally invasive surgery via local anaesthetic applied drill-puncture of the cranium and infusion of a thrombolytic agent is an attractive option for patients requiring critical management of the haematoma, not just in low resource settings but arguably also in specialist centres of western countries. With several ongoing clinical trials nearing completion, these treatments could enter routine practice within the next few years, further justifying the urgency of "time is brain" and that active management within well-organized, comprehensive acute stroke care units includes patients with ICH.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1622-1626
    Number of pages5
    JournalJournal of Clinical Neuroscience
    Issue number12
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012


    • Blood pressure
    • Clinical trials
    • Craniotomy
    • Intracerebral haemorrhage
    • Recombinant Factor VIIa


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