What is a lacunar stroke?

Ask the doctor

Q. I just reviewed my mother's medical record and it says she had a lacunar stroke. What is that?

A. Most strokes result from a blockage in a blood vessel supplying the brain. Lacunar strokes, which account for about one-fifth of all strokes, are those that occur in small arteries deep inside the brain. These small vessels are uniquely vulnerable to high blood pressure, which can injure the artery wall and lead to an obstruction. Blood clots that grow inside these arteries (or travel from a larger vessel) can also cause lacunar strokes.

To continue reading this article, you must login.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »