Brain hemorrhage diagnosis

Older man at party after recovering from hemorrhage at The Christ Hospital.

​Brain hemorrhage (bleeding in the brain) is a life-threatening medical emergency that requires an immediate diagnosis to ensure proper treatment. Neurosurgeons at The Christ Hospital Health Network use advanced diagnostic methods to diagnose this condition.

As soon as the patient arrives in the emergency room, we take vital signs including pulse rate, breathing and blood pressure, and also assess mental status. In many cases, the cause of brain hemorrhage is not obvious, unless there is severe head injury or trauma.

While symptoms are strong clues to a person's condition, doctors in our emergency department work with our neurosurgeons using advanced diagnostic technologies to quickly evaluate the patient. When possible, we review the patient's medical history. If the patient is conscious, we’ll ask him or her to describe their symptoms. 

Diagnostic procedures for a brain hemorrhage

To diagnose the location and extent of the brain hemorrhage, we may use imaging and other diagnostic methods such as:

  • Computed tomography (CT) imaging scan—uses X-rays and a computer to create multiple detailed or three-dimensional images of the brain.

  • Electroencephalogram (EEG)—a noninvasive test that measures the electrical activity (brain waves) in the brain.

  • Intracranial pressure monitoring—detects abnormal pressure in the brain. 

  • Lumbar puncture (spinal tap)—a needle is inserted into the spinal canal to collect cerebrospinal fluid for testing.

  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)—uses a magnet, radio frequencies and a computer (instead of radiation) to create detailed pictures of structures in the brain.

  • Vascular ultrasound—a painless, noninvasive test that uses high-frequency sound waves to image blood vessels, especially the carotid arteries that carry blood to the brain.

Get more information about brain tumor care at The Christ Hospital Health Network.