Traumatic Intraparenchymal Hemorrhage

What Is It?

Traumatic Intraparenchymal hemorrhage is bleeding into the tissue of the brain caused by trauma to the head. This type of bleeding can cause a hematoma which expands inside the brain, pushing aside adjacent brain tissue and compressing it. The term intraparenchymal basically means "within the brain tissue". It distinguishes the hemorrhage from bleeding that can occur outside of the brain such as subarachnoid hemorrhage, subdural hematoma and epidural hematoma.

Some people use the term intraparenchymal hemorrhage to describe other types of injury and/or bleeding into the brain tissue itself as well, such as a cerebral contusion.

Intraparenchymal bleeding, or intracerebral hemorrhage, can also occur spontaneously, without trauma, in the setting of poorly-controlled, high blood pressure. This type of bleeding be discussed elsewhere.

What Types of Symptoms Are Typical?

The presentation of a brain injury patient varies dramatically depending on patient and injury factors. An intraparenchymal hemorrhage rarely occurs alone, most of these patients have other brain injury as well. Therefore, their symptoms cannot always be attributed to any one pathology and rather are the sum of all their injuries. Theoretically, the hematoma in the brain can cause injury and dysfunction of that part of the brain, causing some specific neurological symptom. These symptoms would vary considerably depending on where in the brain the hemorrhage occurred. If big enough, these hematomas can contribute to increased pressure inside the head which can occur after trauma. With all these variables, it is hard and inappropriate to generalize.

How Is The Diagnosis Typically Made?

As with other traumatic injuries, this type of bleeding can typically be seen on a CT scan. Most patients with head injury, after initial stabilization and assessment, will undergo this type of study. Bleeding within the brain can clearly be seen on CT and evaluated for location, size, compression of adjacent brain, concurrent injuries and other factors.

What Are Some Common Treatments?

The treatment of head trauma can be very complex depending on the specific patient and their injury characteristics. Whether an intraparenchymal hemorrhage requires specific treatment depends on the clinical condition of the patient as well as the location and size of the hematoma. While smaller hemorrhage often require no specific treatment other than the standard treatment of any trauma victim, very large hematomas may require surgical removal. This is highly variable and the treatment plan of any one patient should be discussed with that patient's personal physicians.

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Important Note: This site is not intended to offer medical advice. Every patient is different, and only your personal physician can help to counsel you about what is best for your situation. What we offer is general reference information about various disorders and treatments for your education.

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