Stroke is a major public health issue, because of its high incidence rate, high case fatality rate, risk of residual physical and neuropsychological disabilities, and direct and indirect costs. Many strokes are preventable and treatable in the acute stage, provided that patients are admitted soon enough. The term stroke covers a wide range of heterogeneous disorders, depending on the severity of the clinical presentation, from transient deficits to severe cases with coma and early death; the underlying mechanism, i.e., cerebral ischemia, parenchymal hemorrhage, subdural hemorrhage, or subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH); and the cause, i.e., atherosclerosis, cardioembolism, small-vessel occlusion, rare vasculopathies and undetermined causes in cerebral ischemia, or vascular malformations, cerebral amyloid angiopathies, small-vessel diseases, rare vasculopathies and undetermined causes in parenchymal hemorrhages. This chapter will focus only on acute cerebral ischemia and parenchymal hemorrhage. We will cover the general assessment of stroke patients, the complications that can occur in the acute stage, the treatment of acute stroke, and finally a few situations that require specific managements and where evidence-based data are scarce.
Part of the book: Ischemic Stroke