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What Is an Intraparenchymal Hemorrhage?

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  • Written By: Meshell Powell
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 04 September 2016
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An intraparenchymal hemorrhage is a medical term used to describe bleeding within the brain tissue. This type of bleeding can have a variety of causes, including birth defects, infection, or traumatic injury. Symptoms of this condition can vary widely and may include partial paralysis, high blood pressure, or confusion. Treatment depends on the extent of the bleeding, individual symptoms, and the overall health of the patient. Some of the most commonly used treatment options include observation, the use of prescription medications, and surgical intervention.

A traumatic event such as an automobile accident, sports injury, or physical abuse is among the most frequent causes of an intraparenchymal hemorrhage. Other contributing factors may include infections, birth defects, or a ruptured aneurysm. Uncontrolled high blood pressure or sickle cell disease may be responsible for this condition in some cases.

Possible symptoms of an intraparenchymal hemorrhage include changes in mental state, visual disturbances, or muscle weakness. Partial paralysis, typically involving one side of the body, is a possible side effect of this type of hemorrhage. A variety of other symptoms are possible, depending on the exact area of the brain that is affected as well as the extent of the damage to the brain.

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Some medical professionals describe an intraparenchymal hemorrhage as a severe type of bruise affecting the brain. Swelling, intracranial pressure, and damage to the brain tissue are potential complications of this type of brain bleed. Imaging studies such as a CT scan can help determine the severity of the bleeding and swelling and assist the doctor in creating an individualized treatment plan.

A mild intraparenchymal hemorrhage that causes only a small amount of bleeding and does not lead to a significant amount of swelling may not require any specific medical treatment. Instead, a doctor may choose to closely monitor the patient for any changes, often repeating imaging tests on a periodic basis. Prescription medications may be used to prevent or treat symptoms such as pain, high blood pressure, or the development of seizures.

In the most severe cases, an intraparenchymal hemorrhage may require surgical intervention. This type of invasive treatment is often used to remove blockages such as blood clots or tumors. Damaged blood vessels or brain tissue can sometimes be repaired through surgery, preventing or reducing the risks of permanent brain damage. The supervising physician can help the patient create an individualized treatment plan based on specific health concerns.

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