Spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage related to methamphetamine abuse: autopsy findings and clinical correlation

Am J Forensic Med Pathol. 2004 Dec;25(4):334-7. doi: 10.1097/01.paf.0000137206.16785.2f.


A healthy 31-year-old male abstinent from drug abuse during his recent incarceration developed slurred speech, a severe headache, and left-sided hemiparesis prior to his eventual death 9.5 hours after inhalation of methamphetamine. On postmortem examination, inspection of the brain revealed bilateral subarachnoid hemorrhage, with a prominent intralobar hemorrhage centered within the right frontal cerebral hemisphere. No evidence of vasculitis, infarction, intraventricular hemorrhage, or ruptured aneurysm could be observed. While this is not the first report of a methamphetamine-related stroke, this report describes the autopsy findings of an intracerebral hemorrhage secondary to methamphetamine abuse on autopsy and compares the findings and antemortem history to previously reported methamphetamine cerebral vascular deaths.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Autopsy
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / chemically induced
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / diagnosis*
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / pathology
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Humans
  • Illicit Drugs / toxicity*
  • Male
  • Methamphetamine / toxicity*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / complications*


  • Illicit Drugs
  • Methamphetamine