Recent investigations have indicated the importance of secondary brain damage in the pathophysiology of intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH), which includes ischemic brain damage and edema formation around a hematoma. The purpose of the current study is to investigate chronological changes of perihematomal edema in patients with human ICH and also the correlation between volume of perihematomal edema and neurological status. Fourteen patients with medium-sized putaminal hemorrhage (29.4 +/- 13.2 ml) without hematoma enlargement were included in this study. To investigate chronological changes of perihematomal edema, we performed CT scans prospectively on the day of hemorrhage and repeated them on days 1, 3, 7, 14, and 28. We evaluated the patients neurologically using the NIH stroke scale on the day a CT scan was performed. The volume of perihematomal edema in human ICH increased rapidly three days after hemorrhage and the score on the NIH stroke scale showed a deterioration. The volume of perihematomal edema then increased slowly until day 14 after hemorrhage, and decreased thereafter. Despite progression of perihematomal edema, the score on the NIH stroke scale improved gradually after day 3.