Interrupted blood flow to the brain is called infarction. The result of infarction is tissue death or necrosis. The loss of function of the dead tissue results in a focal neurologic deficit, if the patient survives the initial event as most (80%) do. In the majority of cases the deficit is permanent.
Stroke may result from occlusion of vessels or from rupture of weakened vessels, both most commonly secondary to atherosclerosis. Hemorrhagic stroke is usually related to hypertension in combination with atherosclerosis. Occlusion from atherosclerotic narrowing, secondary thrombosis or emboli (mural thrombus after MI, carotid plaque) initially causes dry or non-hemorrhagic infarction, but weakened vessels in the infarcted area may secondarily rupture, compounding the damage.
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