Blood Clot in Brain: Types, Reason & Treatment

By Dr. Sanjay Kumar Mishra in Neurology

Jan 25 , 2022 | 1 min read

Blood clots are blood clumps usually formed whenever you get injured, to stop the blood loss. But what if a blood clot is formed inside your blood vessels that obstruct the blood flow. It can prove to be highly dangerous. There are two types of blood clots- Thrombosis and embolism. Let's read about them and see the reasons and treatment of such blood clots in the brain.

Types of Blood Clots

  • Thrombosis: These are blood clots that are stationary.
  • Embolism: These are blood clots that move from the original position somewhere else in the body.

Now let's see what the reasons for blood clot formation are

Several factors can play a role in forming blood clots, such as.

  • Obesity- Do you know that obese people are at two times greater risk than normal individuals? Obesity leads to reduced fibrinolysis (which is the breakdown of clots).

  • Smoking- Smoking decreases the blood's nitrogen oxide (NO) levels. NO is a compound that prevents the sticking of blood cells together, and thus smoking can lead to blood clot formation.

  • Birth control pills- Women who take estrogen and progesterone combination contraceptive pills are at a slightly higher risk because certain constituents of contraceptive pills increase the clotting factors and increase the risk of blood clot formation.

  • Brain Trauma- Major Brain injuries can cause damage to blood vessels, thus increasing the chances of blood clot formation.

  • Atherosclerosis- Atherosclerosis is the hardening of arteries due to the deposition of fat and calcium in the blood vessel wall, also called plaque. These plaques can get disrupted. As a result, platelets may deposit to form clots at the site of damage. 

Treatment of blood clots in the brain

Anticoagulant medications- Your doctor may prescribe anticoagulants & antiplatelets such as warfarin that prevent the formation of another clot.

Thrombolytics are drugs that rapidly dissolve blood clots and are administered in emergency cases such as stroke. Example- heparin

Mechanical Thrombectomy is the interventional procedure for clot removal by catheter

Surgery- Your doctor can suggest surgery to remove the blood clots. Generally, there are two types of surgery to remove blood clots in the brain-

  • Burr hole drainage- In this procedure, holes are made in the skull to release the blood and provide pressure relief.
  • Craniotomy- In this procedure, a section of the skull is cut out to drain out the blood clot and then the section is placed back.