Intracerebral hemorrhage is associated with stroke and head trauma. The purpose of this study was to study brain inflammation and cell death in adult rats 1 h to 4 weeks after injection of blood into the striatum. Terminal dUTP nick-end-labeling positive dying cells were evident 4 h to 4 weeks post-hemorrhage. Neutrophil infiltration was brief and peaked at 48 h. CD8a immunoreactive lymphocytes, possibly natural killer cells, became apparent at 48 h and persisted for 1 week. Microglial reaction was evident at 4 h and persisted for 4 weeks. We conclude that extravascular blood causes a mixed inflammatory cell reaction in brains that is maximal from 48-72 h following hemorrhage. This is associated with death of brain cells over a prolonged period of at least 4 weeks.