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.

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 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.

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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.

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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

Last Updated : 30 July, 2023

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24 thoughts on “Ischemic vs Hemorrhagic Stroke: Difference and Comparison”

  1. The link between ischemic heart disease and ischemic strokes is expounded upon effectively. Educating individuals about the interconnections of cardiovascular conditions is crucial for holistic health management.

    • I concur, Kbennett. This article sheds light on the interconnectedness of cardiovascular diseases and their impact on stroke occurrence.

    • Your point is well-taken, Kbennett. A comprehensive understanding of the relationship between cardiovascular health and strokes is essential for preventive strategies.

  2. The distinction between thrombotic and embolic strokes is elucidated well. The use of angioplasty as a preventive measure for thrombotic strokes highlights advancements in stroke management.

    • Absolutely, Elsie. Advancements in medical interventions, such as angioplasty, have improved outcomes for individuals at risk of thrombotic strokes.

  3. This article provides a valuable overview of the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes. The depth of information presented is commendable.

  4. The distinction between ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes is important for medical practitioners and the general public alike. Increased awareness of stroke types contributes to better outcomes for patients.

    • Absolutely, Sebastian. Enhanced knowledge about stroke types empowers individuals to recognize symptoms and seek timely medical care.

  5. The detailed comparison between ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes provides valuable insights for both healthcare professionals and the general public. Awareness of stroke types is crucial in promoting timely intervention and care.

    • I completely agree, Pjackson. This article serves as a valuable educational resource for understanding the nuances of stroke types and associated treatments.

    • Absolutely, Pjackson. Increased awareness about stroke types can contribute to improved outcomes and reduced mortality rates associated with strokes.

  6. The data presented here is quite alarming. The prevalence and incidence of strokes in the US is a serious public health concern. It’s important to raise awareness about the early symptoms and risk factors for strokes.

    • I completely agree with you, Harvey. It’s crucial for individuals to recognize the symptoms of strokes and seek medical attention promptly.

  7. The detailed explanation of hemorrhagic strokes and their subtypes is thought-provoking. It’s evident that hemorrhagic strokes pose significant challenges in terms of treatment and recovery.

    • I share your perspective, Fiona. Hemorrhagic strokes require specialized care and immediate medical attention due to their life-threatening nature.

    • Indeed, Fiona. This article underscores the urgency of early intervention and treatment for hemorrhagic strokes.

  8. This article provides a comprehensive overview of ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes. The comparison table is particularly helpful in understanding the differences between the two types of strokes.

    • I found the comparison table very informative as well. It’s essential for the general public to be educated about stroke types and their respective treatments.

  9. The emphasis on atherosclerosis as a contributing factor to ischemic strokes is a critical point. Addressing atherosclerosis through preventive measures is crucial in reducing the burden of strokes.

    • Well said, Jones. Education and awareness campaigns about atherosclerosis can lead to positive behavioral changes and improved cardiovascular health.

    • I share your perspective, Jones. Atherosclerosis is a modifiable risk factor, and public health initiatives should prioritize strategies to mitigate its impact on stroke occurrence.

  10. The description of atherosclerosis and its role in the development of ischemic strokes is particularly enlightening. Understanding the underlying mechanisms of stroke occurrence is crucial in prevention strategies.

    • I couldn’t agree more, Brandon. Atherosclerosis plays a significant role in cardiovascular diseases, including strokes. Public health initiatives should focus on promoting healthier lifestyles to reduce the risk of stroke.

    • I echo your sentiments, Brandon. This article underscores the importance of lifestyle modifications in preventing ischemic strokes.


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