Massive Stroke

What is a Massive Stroke?

A massive stroke occurs when there are too many blood vessels in the brain to allow oxygenated blood to flow through them. This results in lack of oxygen and other vital nutrients to the brain cells, which eventually leads to cell death. A major problem with strokes is that they can happen at any age; however, it’s most common among those over 65 years old.

The symptoms of a stroke include:

Difficulty speaking or understanding speech (dysarthria)

Slurred speech (ataxia)

Weakness (paralysis) or numbness of one side of your body (myoclonus), especially on one arm or leg. Your vision may become blurred, you may have difficulty seeing out of both eyes, and you might experience double vision.

You may lose consciousness suddenly. Death usually follows within several hours.

How Common Is a Massive Stroke?

According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), approximately 300,000 Americans suffer from a stroke each year. Approximately half of these cases occur in men and women over the age of 50. About 80% of patients recover completely without long-term effects. However, some people develop permanent damage due to their condition. According to NINDS statistics, 1 in 4 strokes are fatal. Death usually follows several hours after a massive stroke.

What Are the Causes of a Massive Stroke?

A major cause of a massive stroke is due to bleeding in the brain (hemorrhagic stroke). This is more common among the elderly, and those who suffer from high blood pressure or diabetes. A major health risk factor for this condition is aneurysms, which are weak spots on the walls of arteries in the brain that can rupture and bleed at any time. This condition is often linked to excess alcohol intake, and those who suffer from uncontrolled hypertension. The danger of hemorrhagic strokes increase as you age.

Another major cause of a massive stroke is blockage (ischemic) in the brain’s blood vessels. This type of blockage can be caused by a buildup of plaque that narrows the arteries, or by bleeding in the brain (intracerebral hemorrhage) due to high blood pressure.

Sources & references used in this article:

Aggressive care after a massive stroke in young patients: is that what they want? by K Nakagawa, MT Bianchi, SS Nakagawa, FA Sorond – Neurocritical care, 2010 – Springer

Outcome after external decompression for massive cerebral infarction by K SAKAI, K IWAHASHI, K TERADA… – Neurologia medico …, 1998 –

Necrobacillosis resulting in isolated carotid thrombosis and massive stroke: A unique Lemierre variant? by MK Goyal, G Kumar, R Burger – Journal of the neurological sciences, 2009 – Elsevier

Massive stroke in a patient with pituitary apoplexy, cervical carotid artery stenosis and hypotension by E Lomban, F Bonneville, C Karachi, L Abdennour… – Journal of …, 2006 – Elsevier

Predictors of fatal brain edema in massive hemispheric ischemic stroke by SE Kasner, AM Demchuk, J Berrouschot… – Stroke, 2001 – Am Heart Assoc

Experimental stroke induces massive, rapid activation of the peripheral immune system by H Offner, S Subramanian, SM Parker… – Journal of Cerebral …, 2006 –

Hemicraniectomy for acute massive cerebral infarction by SS Rengachary, S Batnitzky, RA Morantz… – …, 1981 –

Massive persistent release of excitatory amino acids following human occlusive stroke by R Bullock, A Zauner, J Woodward, HF Young – Stroke, 1995 – Am Heart Assoc

Critical care for patients with massive ischemic stroke by SB Jeon, Y Koh, HA Choi, K Lee – Journal of Stroke, 2014 –