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Difference Between an Ischemic and Hemorrhagic Stroke

Ischemic vs Hemorrhagic Stroke

People who have hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, and those who are already old are at high risk of suffering a stroke or cerebrovascular accident (CVA). Those who are also cigarette smokers are very susceptible to strokes.
A stroke is the loss of brain function that is caused by a disturbance in the blood supply to the brain. It is a medical emergency that can cause permanent neurological damage and death. Fast treatment is necessary to ensure the survival of the person suffering from a stroke.
A stroke can lead to the inability to move, to understand and formulate speech, and see one side of the visual field. If the damage is to the left brain, the right side of the body is affected, and if it is to the right brain, the body’s left side is affected.
There are two classifications of a stroke: ischemic stroke and hemorrhagic stroke. Although they are both caused by the lack of blood supply to the brain, they have different causes.
More than eighty per cent of strokes are considered ischemic strokes and are usually caused by a blockage due to:

Thrombosis which is the blockage of a blood vessel by a blood clot appearing at a certain section of the brain. The blockage is slowly progressing resulting in the slow advent of thrombosis.
Embolism which is the blockage of a blood vessel due to a debris particle that has entered the bloodstream, such as, fat from bone marrow, tiny pieces of a broken bone, air, cancer cells, clusters of bacteria, and other matter.
Systematic hypoperfusion which is characterized by a decrease in blood supply to the brain caused by cardiac arrest, bleeding, and pulmonary embolism that affects all parts of the brain.
Venous thrombosis which is a blood clot occurring in the vein or blood vessel.

Hemorrhagic stroke, on the other hand, is either:

Intra-axial, wherein the bleeding is inside the brain. It may be caused by blood in the ventricular system or an intraventricular hemorrhage or intraparenchymal hemorrhage.
Extra-axial, wherein the bleeding is inside the skull but outside the brain and can be:

Epidural hematoma, wherein the bleeding is between the dura and the skull.
Subdural hematoma, wherein the bleeding is between the dura and the arachnoid membrane.
Subarachnoid hemorrhage, wherein the bleeding is between the arachnoid and pia mater.

Here are their common symptoms:

Inability to raise both arms or arm drift.
Face muscle weakness and body numbness.
Reduction in sensory or vibratory sensation.
A decline in body function reflexes.
Fluctuating heart rate and irregular breathing.
Difficulty to speak and comprehend or aphasia.
Motor speech disorder or dysarthria.
Inability to move voluntarily or apraxia.


1.Ischemic strokes are caused by a blockage of blood vessels while a hemorrhagic stroke is caused by bleeding.
2.Ischemic strokes may be caused by thrombosis, embolism, systematic hypoperfusion, or venous thrombosis while hemorrhagic strokes may be caused by a hematoma or bleeding inside or outside of the brain.
3.Both have almost the same symptoms but sometimes ischemic strokes can be gradual while hemorrhagic strokes happen suddenly and can be located inside the area of ischemia.

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  1. Thanx

  2. Exact difference between hemorrhagic and ischemic stroke is not understood

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