Simultaneous multiple hypertensive intracerebral haemorrhages
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- Yen, C., Lin, C., Kwan, A. et al. Acta Neurochir (Wien) (2005) 147: 393. doi:10.1007/s00701-004-0433-y
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Simultaneous occurrence of multiple intracerebral haemorrhages (ICHs) in different arterial territories is a rare clinical event which has been reported to be associated with cerebral amyloid angiopathy, venous sinus thrombosis, coagulopathy, vasculitis, haemorrhagic transformation of cerebral infarcts and multiple intracranial pathologies such as vascular anomalies or tumours. Although hypertension is the most common etiological factor for the development of spontaneous single intracerebral bleeding, its role in simultaneous multiple ICHs is not clear.
Methods. The authors have reviewed all patients with non-traumatic ICH admitted to Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital from 1993 to 2002. Ten hypertensive patients with simultaneous multiple ICHs were found. For the purpose of comparison, another 600 cases with solitary hypertensive ICH were also reviewed as a control group. Computerized tomographic scans and medical records concerning patients’ histories, clinical presentations, locations of haematomas, associated risk factors, and outcome were analyzed.
Findings. The mean age and sex distribution were similar in both patient groups. Bilateral putaminal or thalamic haemorrhages were the most common combinations of simultaneous bleedings. As for the individual location of haematoma, there was a strong preponderance for the supratentorial space with the thalamus being the most preferable site. The duration of hypertension was longer and the percentage of previous stroke was higher in patients with multiple ICHs. Other associated risk factors were similar in both groups except for higher incidence of hypercholesterolemia in multiple ICHs group. Patients with simultaneous multiple ICHs had a much worse outcome compared to those with solitary ICH.
Conclusions. As with solitary ICH, hypertension is still the most important etiological factor for simultaneous multiple ICHs. The widespread and prolonged degeneration of intracerebral arterioles predispose patients to the development of multiple ICHs, which could be justified by the longer history of hypertension and higher incidence of former strokes. Only hypercholesterolemia was identified to be significantly associated with this unusual brain event in our study. The mechanism underlying the development of simultaneous multiple ICHs is not clear although structural and haemodynamic changes of first haemorrhage may be responsible for the second one. Poorer outcome in patients with multiple ICHs can be explained by the concomitant destruction of crossing and non-crossing fiber tracts and bilateral diaschisis phenomenon.