Cerebral aneurysm exclusion by CT angiography based on subarachnoid hemorrhage pattern: a retrospective study

BMC Neurol. 2011 Jan 21;11:8. doi: 10.1186/1471-2377-11-8.


Background: To identify patients with spontaneous subarachnoid hemorrhage for whom CT angiography alone can exclude ruptured aneurysms.

Methods: An observational retrospective review was carried out of all consecutive patients with non-traumatic subarachnoid hemorrhage who underwent both CT angiography and catheter angiography to exclude an aneurysm. CT angiography negative cases (no aneurysm) were classified according to their CT hemorrhage pattern as "aneurismal", "perimesencephalic" or as "no-hemorrhage."

Results: Two hundred and forty-one patients were included. A CT angiography aneurysm detection sensitivity and specificity of 96.4% and 96.0% were observed. All 35 cases of perimesencephalic or no-hemorrhage out of 78 CT angiography negatives also had negative angiography findings.

Conclusions: CT angiography is self-reliant to exclude ruptured aneurysms when either a perimesencephalic hemorrhage or no-hemorrhage pattern is identified on the CT within a week of symptom onset.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aneurysm, Ruptured / diagnostic imaging*
  • Angiography, Digital Subtraction
  • Cerebral Angiography
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / diagnostic imaging*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Subarachnoid Hemorrhage / diagnostic imaging*