Iron and intracerebral hemorrhage: from mechanism to translation

Transl Stroke Res. 2014 Aug;5(4):429-41. doi: 10.1007/s12975-013-0317-7. Epub 2013 Dec 21.


Intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality around the world. Currently, there is no effective medical treatment available to improve functional outcomes in patients with ICH due to its unknown mechanisms of damage. Increasing evidence has shown that the metabolic products of erythrocytes are the key contributor of ICH-induced secondary brain injury. Iron, an important metabolic product that accumulates in the brain parenchyma, has a detrimental effect on secondary injury following ICH. Because the damage mechanism of iron during ICH-induced secondary injury is clear, iron removal therapy research on animal models is effective. Although many animal and clinical studies have been conducted, the exact metabolic pathways of iron and the mechanisms of iron removal treatments are still not clear. This review summarizes recent progress concerning the iron metabolism mechanisms underlying ICH-induced injury. We focus on iron, brain iron metabolism, the role of iron in oxidative injury, and iron removal therapy following ICH, and we suggest that further studies focus on brain iron metabolism after ICH and the mechanism for iron removal therapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Iron / metabolism*
  • Iron-Regulatory Proteins / metabolism
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Translational Research, Biomedical


  • Iron-Regulatory Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Iron