Ischemic vs Hemorrhagic Stroke: Difference and Comparison

According to a survey, it is discovered that each year, around 795,000 people in the United States have strokes, and out of the 137,000 people die.


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Amongst them, 87 percent of the cases are caused by ischemic strokes.

Early symptoms of strokes include sudden numbness in facial muscles or any one side of the body getting weaker, visionary uneasiness and clouded judgments, as well as dizziness and loss of balance.

Key Takeaways

  1. Ischemic strokes result from blocked blood vessels, depriving brain cells of oxygen, while hemorrhagic strokes occur due to bleeding in the brain.
  2. Ischemic strokes account for about 87% of all strokes, making them more common than hemorrhagic strokes.
  3. Treatment options differ significantly, with ischemic strokes often treated using clot-busting drugs and hemorrhagic strokes requiring surgical intervention to stop bleeding.

Ischemic vs Hemorrhagic Stroke

Ischemic strokes are caused by blockage of an artery (or, in rare instances, a vein) whereas Haemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel bursts and starts bleeding. Haemorrhagic stroke is more life-threatening or fatal than Ischemic Stroke. It also has more severe complications than the former.

Ischemic vs Hemorrhagic Stroke

Ischemic stroke occurs most commonly in patients who have an excessively noxious lifestyle and who prefer junk food over their own life.

An ischemic stroke is the aftereffect of numerous TIAs (Transient ischemic attacks).

When fatty deposits start lining the vessel walls, and fatty plaques are developed into the blood vessels, a phenomenon called ‘atherosclerosis’ occurs.

Hemorrhagic strokes are low in occurrence when compared to ischemic but are more difficult to treat. It occurs when blood starts accumulating in the brain or between the brain and the cranium.

Severe pain is observed in the patient’s head region and this stroke causes instant death. There are two types of hemorrhagic strokes; Intracerebral hemorrhagic stroke and subarachnoid haemorrhage.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonIschemic StrokeHemorrhagic Stroke
CauseIschemic stroke is caused when blood flow to brain is blocked due to excessive blood clotting or fatty plaque accumulation in blood vessels.It is caused when a blood vessel bursts and causes eruption of blood inside the cranium or inter-cranial crevices causing excessive pain and instant death.
TypesEmbolic strokes, Thrombotic strokes.Subarachnoid haemorrhage, Intracerebral haemorrhage.
SymptomsNumbness and weakness in facial muscles, clouded judgement, sometimes sense of balance is also lost.Severe headaches, changes in vision and nausea, trouble in hearing, seizures.
Percentage with respect to other strokesAround 87 percent of all strokes comprise of ischemic strokes.10-15 percent of all strokes.
TreatmentSurgical methods are preferred like, Angioplasty and stent insertion.It is primarily treated by drug treatment that includes blood pressure reducing catalysts.

What is Ischemic Stroke?

Ischemic stroke is an aftermath of Ischemic heart disease.

It occurs when the human heart doesn’t receive enough blood due to thrombosis or fatty clots (plaques) are formed in the inner lining of the artery, causing increased blood pressure in the affected vessel and an eventual decrease in the blood flow rate to both heart and brain.

TIA, aka Transient Ischemic Attack, is a condition that occurs before an ischemic stroke. The TIA is also known as a ‘mini-stroke’. It has similar symptoms to an ischemic stroke, just a bit milder.

Ischemic diseases are primarily categorized under two major types of strokes, thrombotic and embolic strokes.

The latter is just a severe version of the former, where the clot is mobile and can clog any other neighbouring vessel.

A Thrombotic Stroke; occurs when a blood vessel is facing high blood flow pressure due to thrombosis. This type of stroke can be prevented by clearing out the clogged vessel using modern treatments like Angioplasty.

Angioplasty is a surgical technique where a metal mesh, aka stent, is inserted in the blood vessel to prevent it from getting clogged by blood clots and plaques.

Anti-thrombotic agents are also used to slow down the blood clotting ability of RBCs in that region.

What is Hemorrhagic Stroke?

Comprising around 13 percent of all strokes, a hemorrhagic stroke is as lethal as it sounds.

It is caused when a blood vessel is injured and causes the eruption of blood from the torn-down region, as a result, the blood fills the outer-vessel region, causing haemorrhage followed by a stroke.

The stroke occurs when the regions of haemorrhage are either the heart or the brain.

There are majorly two types of hemorrhagic strokes, Intracerebral haemorrhage and subarachnoid haemorrhage.

The former is more fatal, and it occurs when a blood vessel breaks inside the brain, the latter occurs when a blood vessel bursts on the surface of the brain.

A subarachnoid haemorrhage is comparatively easier to operate surgically than an intracerebral haemorrhage.

The symptoms of hemorrhagic stroke include blurry vision, loss of senses and balance, seizures, vomiting, and numbness in facial muscles as well as locomotory organs like hands and legs.

To immediately act upon a hemorrhagic stroke, it is crucial to inject the patient with blood pressure relaxation agents and control the flow of blood towards the affected blood vessel.

Surgical treatments can be applied once the haemorrhage is brought under control.

Main Differences Between Ischemic and a Hemorrhagic Stroke

  1. An ischemic stroke is more common than a hemorrhagic stroke.
  2. Ischemic stroke occurs due to thrombosis (clotting of blood), whereas a hemorrhagic stroke occurs due to the formation of haemorrhoids.
  3. Ischemic strokes are of two types, ie: Embolic and thrombotic. A hemorrhagic stroke includes intracerebral and subarachnoid strokes.
  4. The surgical method is preferred in the treatment of ischemic stroke, whereas drug-induced treatment is the primary aid for hemorrhagic strokes.
  5. An ischemic stroke patient has a greater chance of survival than a hemorrhagic stroke-affected patient.
Difference Between an Ischemic and a Hemorrhagic Stroke

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