Purpose of review: Spontaneous intracerebral haemorrhage (ICH) imposes a significant health and economic burden on society. Despite this, ICH remains the only stroke subtype without a definitive treatment. Without a clearly identified and effective treatment for spontaneous ICH, clinical practice varies greatly from aggressive surgery to supportive care alone. This review will discuss the current modalities of treatments for ICH including preliminary experience and investigative efforts to advance the care of these patients.
Recent findings: Open surgery (craniotomy), prothrombotic agents and other therapeutic interventions have failed to significantly improve the outcome of these stroke victims. Recently, the Surgical Trial in Intracerebral Haemorrhage (STICH) II assessed the surgical management of patients with superficial intraparenchymal haematomas with negative results. MISTIE II and other trials of minimally invasive surgery (MIS) have shown promise for improving patient outcomes and a phase III trial started in late 2013.
Summary: ICH lacks a definitive primary treatment as well as a therapy targeting surrounding perihematomal oedema and associated secondary damage. An ongoing phase III trial using MIS techniques shows promise for providing treatment for these patients.