Strokes can impact all people of all lifestyles, ages, and medical backgrounds. Understanding types of stroke can be your first step to stroke diagnosis, prevention, and treatment.
In an ischemic stroke, blood clots block arteries and cut off blood flow. An ischemic stroke can occur in two ways: embolic and thrombotic strokes.
In an embolic stroke a blood clot forms somewhere in the body, usually the heart, and travels through the bloodstream to your brain. Once in the brain the clot eventually travels to a blood vessel small enough to block its passage. The clot lodges there, blocking the blood vessel and causing a stroke.
This is a second type of blood-clot stroke in which blood flow is impaired because of a blockage to one or more of the arteries supplying blood to the brain. The process leading to this blockage is known as thrombosis, the most common stroke in diagnosis procedures across the nation.
These types of stroke can occur as a result of unhealthy blood vessels clogged with a buildup of fatty deposits and cholesterol. Your body regards these buildups as multiple, tiny, and repeated injuries to the blood vessel wall, so it reacts by forming clots.
Two types of thrombosis can cause stroke: large vessel thrombosis and small vessel disease (or lacunar infarction).
Large Vessel Thrombosis
Thrombotic stroke occurs most often in large arteries, so large vessel thrombosis is the most common and best-understood type of thrombotic stroke.
Most large vessel thrombosis is caused by a combination of long-term atherosclerosis followed by rapid blood clot formation. These types of stroke patients are also likely to have coronary artery disease, and heart attack is a frequent cause of death in patients who have suffered this type of brain attack. Preventative measures such as correcting diet, weight, and smoking habits can help you avoid occurrence, and eventual stroke diagnosis.
Small Vessel Disease/Lacunar Infarction
Small vessel disease, or lacunar infarction, occurs when blood flow is blocked to a very small arterial vessel. Little is known about the causes of small vessel disease, but these types of stroke are linked to hypertension (high blood pressure) which is supposed through stroke diagnosis.
Strokes caused by the breakage or “blowout” of a blood vessel in the brain are called hemorrhagic strokes. These can be caused by a number of disorders which affect the blood vessels, including long-standing high blood pressure and cerebral aneurysms. An aneurysm is a weak or thin spot on a blood vessel wall. These weak spots are usually present at birth. Aneurisms develop over a number of years and usually don’t cause detectable problems until they break. Stroke diagnosis is typically performed by a CT scan to determine the level of bleeding around the brain.
These types of stroke include:
An aneurysm bursts in a large artery on or near the thin, delicate membrane surrounding the brain. Blood spills into the area around the brain, which is filled with a protective fluid, causing the brain to be surrounded by blood-contaminated fluid.
Bleeding occurs from vessels within the brain itself.
Adventist Hinsdale Hospital provides comprehensive stroke diagnosis and treatment for multiple types of stroke. By using Ultrasound Imaging, Transcranial Doppler Ultrasound, CT scans, and MRI, our team of board-certified physicians and surgeons in our Neurology Department can diagnose and approach stroke care with the latest procedures and equipment.