Diagnostic cerebral angiography in spontaneous intracranial haemorrhage: a guide for developing countries

Asian J Surg. 2005 Jan;28(1):1-6. doi: 10.1016/s1015-9584(09)60248-7.


Objective: Spontaneous intracranial haemorrhage constitutes 18-40% of all stroke cases. Indications for cerebral angiography to find underlying potentially treatable vascular abnormalities are not clear. This study determined which intracranial haemorrhage patients need cerebral angiography by correlating computed tomography (CT) findings, age and hypertension history with cerebral angiography findings.

Methods: A total of 54 patients (8-79 years) with intracranial haemorrhage who underwent both CT examination and six-vessel cerebral angiography were studied over a 2-year period. Cerebral angiography was repeated within 6 weeks if the first angiogram was negative.

Results: Angiography detected vascular lesions in 50% of cases (aneurysm 38.9% and arteriovenous malformation, AVM, 11.1%). In the aneurysm group, angiographic yield was 34.3% whereas in the AVM group, it was 37.9%. Subarachnoid haemorrhage (SAH) combined with other types of haemorrhage (such as intracerebral haemorrhage, ICH) was not significantly correlated with the likelihood of finding a vascular lesion, both aneurysm and AVM (p = 0.157). Age less than 50 years had significant correlation (p = 0.021) in the AVM group as well as in the aneurysm group (p < 0.001). A history of hypertension was associated with both aneurysm (p = 0.039) and AVM (p = 0.008). No patients with deep intracerebral haematoma had vascular lesions. The presence of an intravascular haemorrhage (IVH) had significant correlation with aneurysm (p = 0.008) but not AVM. There was no significant difference in mean age between patients with and without a vascular lesion (p = 0.134).

Conclusion: Cerebral angiography is justified in patients with ICH accompanied by pure SAH (p = 0.001). Other factors associated with finding a vascular lesion were a history of hypertension and the presence of IVH. Diagnostic cerebral angiography is indicated for patients with ICH and SAH and IVH with a history of hypertension, regardless of age.

MeSH terms

  • Cerebral Angiography*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Developing Countries*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / epidemiology
  • Intracranial Hemorrhages / diagnostic imaging*
  • Intracranial Hemorrhages / etiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed