The chapter begins with a discussion of common major clinical features and mechanisms of damage to the cerebrovascular system. Stroke is a general term that implies damage to cerebral tissue from insufficient blood to the brain (ischemic stroke or infarction), abnormal excess blood (hemorrhagic stroke or cerebral hemorrhage), or inadequate venous drainage of cerebral blood (venous stroke). Together, these act as the third leading cause of death in the USA. Signs and symptoms produced by strokes depend on which part of the brain is affected and whether the stroke causes increased intracranial pressure. This chapter further discusses the most common types of cerebrovascular disease: transient ischemic attack, ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke, and intracerebral hemorrhages from hypertension, aneurysms, and amyloidosis. Attention is given to their pathophysiology, major clinical features, major laboratory findings, and principles of management and prognosis.
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