Stroke associated with methamphetamine inhalation

Eur Neurol. 1994;34(1):16-22. doi: 10.1159/000117002.


Seven patients (all men, mean age 32 years, range 17-47) with stroke following methamphetamine inhalation were collected during the last 2 years. Like oral or intravenous abusers, our patients had more hemorrhagic (n = 5) than ischemic strokes (n = 2). Cases of intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) were lobar (n = 3), caudate (n = 1) or putaminal (n = 1), whereas the infarctions were both in the middle cerebral artery region. Each stroke event occurred within 3 days after drug use. Three patients had hypertension on admission. Though young in age, most patients had multiple stroke risk factors. In 3 patients with ICH, we also found small, low attenuated lesions on the brain computed tomography, however, without clinical correlations. Except for arteriovenous malformation in 1 patient, all angiograms failed to show vasculopathy or vasospasm. Contrary to what one might surmise from previously published reports, methamphetamine inhalation is at least as likely to produce ICH as it is to produce brain infarction.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Inhalation
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cerebral Angiography
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / chemically induced*
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / diagnostic imaging
  • Cerebral Infarction / chemically induced*
  • Cerebral Infarction / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Methamphetamine / adverse effects*
  • Middle Aged
  • Substance-Related Disorders / complications*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / diagnostic imaging
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed


  • Methamphetamine