Brainstem haemorrhage

Case contributed by Dr Mark Rodrigues


Found collapsed. GCS 4. Past history of hypertension, diabetes and previous bowel cancer.

Patient Data

Age: 55 years
Gender: Male

Acute intracerebral haematoma within the brainstem, with its epicentre in the pons. The haemorrhage extends into the intraventricular system, and the subarachnoid space (interpeduncular cistern).

There is dilatation of the lateral and third ventricles in keeping with hydrocephalus. Mass effect relating to the haematoma effaces the prepontine cistern.

CT angiogram shows no macrovascular abnormality of CTA spot sign

Mild generalised cerebral volume loss. Mild periventricular low attenuation in keeping with small vessel change. Chronic lacunar infarct in the left lentiform nucleus/corona radiata.

Case Discussion

Brainstem intracerebral haemorrhage centred on the pons.  Its location and background brain features are in keeping with a "hypertensive" (arteriolosclerosis) haemorrhage.



The patient died 3 days after the ICH and underwent post mortem.  This demonstrated a large pontine haemorrhage with extension into the ventricles and subarachnoid spaces.

There is severe small vessel disease throughout the white matter with subcortical micro-infarcts.  Immunohistochemistry shows no significant amyloid angiopathy.

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Case information

rID: 58794
Case created: 6th Mar 2018
Last edited: 9th Mar 2018
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included
Institution: University of Edinburgh

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