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Hemorrhagic Stroke

Treatment of Hemorrhagic Stroke at UC San Diego Health System

Aneurysm Treatment at UC San Diego

Hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel bursts inside the brain. UC San Diego Health System provides advanced open cranial and minimally invasive neurovascular treatment for conditions causing hemorrhagic stroke - saving lives day after day. A higher percentage of patients treated at UC San Diego Health System have hemorrhagic strokes compared to patients cared for at other San Diego county hospitals. See more stroke facts and figures.

There are two categories of conditions that can cause hemorrhagic stroke: vascular lesions and other medical problems such as high blood pressure. Vascular lesions that can cause strokes include:

  • Cerebral aneurysms
  • Arteriovenous malformations (AVM)
  • Dural arteriovenous fistulas (AVF)
  • Cavernous malformations (cavernoma)

Cerebral Aneurysm

A cerebral aneurysm is a weak bulging spot on the wall of a brain artery. UC San Diego Health System offers advanced minimally invasive catheter-based (endovascular) methods of treatment, including flow diversion (pipeline) and cerebral aneurysm coiling for embolization. We also perform cranial surgery for clipping aneurysms and EC-IC bypass.


Pipeline embolization of residual aneurysm after coiling. 

Stasis in the aneurysm consistent with healing. 

Anterior communicating artery aneurysm before treatment. 

3D Rendering of cerebral angiography showing aneurysm before treatment. 

Anterior communicating artery aneurysm after treatment. 

Click on Images for a Larger Picture


Arteriovenous Malformations (AVM)

AVMs are abnormal connections between the arteries and veins in the brain that usually form before birth. AVMs can damage the brain (or spinal cord) by reducing the amount of oxygen reaching neurological tissues, by causing bleeding (hemorrhage) into surrounding tissues, and by putting pressure on the brain or spinal cord.


Ruptured AVM 

Microcatheter in AVM at embolization position. 

AVM cured by multiple embolizations and resection. 

AVM treatment at UC San Diego Health System

Click on Images for a Larger Picture


There are three treatment approaches for AVMs at UC San Diego Health System that may be used in combination, depending on the size and location of an AVM, including:

  • An endovascular treatment using catheters to deliver liquid embolic material (glue or Onyx) to the AVM so that blood no longer flows through it.
  • Craniotomy to access and resect the AVM from healthy brain tissue. We use precise neuromonitoring and imaging to guide our surgery.
  • Stereotactic radiosurgery, which delivers a precise, high-intensity radiation to an AVM located deep in the brain tissue, eventually causing the blood vessels feeding the AVM to close off.

Dural Arteriovenous Fistula

A dural arteriovenous fistula (dAVF) or CCF (carotid cavernous fistula) is a form of AVM – an abnormal connection between arteries and veins that occurs in the dura mater of the brain. Dura mater is a protective layer between the brain and skull.

Dural arteriovenous fistulas and venous sinus thrombosis can cause headaches, increased pressure in the brain, seizures and hemorrhages. Diagnosed by cerebral angiography, these complex lesions can be treated with a variety of endovascular methods at UC San Diego Health System.

Cavernous Malformations (Cavernomas)

Cavernomas are benign vascular lesions that can bleed or cause seizures. Cavernomas are formed from groups of tightly packed, thin-walled, small blood vessels that are filled with slow-moving or clotted blood. Neurosurgical specialists at UC San Diego Health System may diagnose and precisely remove these lesions with state-of-the-art imaging guidance and physiologic neuromonitoring.

Medical Problems

The most common causes of hemorrhagic stroke are underlying medical conditions that can be treated with medication. These include:

For more information on the treatment of hemorrhagic stroke, contact the Stroke Center at 619-543-5529.

Read more information about ischemic stroke.