Subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) volume was measured by three-dimensional computed tomography (3D-CT) and the correlation examined between the SAH volume and the occurrence of symptomatic vasospasm (SVS). Experimental (in vitro) hematomas were made with blood obtained from 10 volunteers. The hematoma volume was determined by actual measurements and by 3D-CT using a CT number in the range of 40-80 Hounsfield units (HU) on days 1, 4, 7, 11, and 14. The coefficients on days 1 and 4 were relatively high and the correlation between measured and estimated volumes was significant on days 7, 11, and 14. 3D-CT was also performed in 50 patients with SAH at onset (day 0) and on days 1, 4, 7, and 14. The hematoma volume including the volume of normal structures was automatically calculated (V1). The volume of normal structures (V2) with CT numbers of 40-80 HU was calculated in another 50 patients without intracranial lesions as 12 ml. The total hematoma volume was defined as V1 minus mean V2. The mean SAH volume was 44, 36, 21, 11, and 8 ml on days 0, 1, 4, 7, and 14, respectively. The hematoma volumes were significantly larger in patients with SVS than in patients without SVS at all time points. The minimum hematoma volume in patients with SVS was 92, 76, 42, 24, and 12 ml on days 0, 1, 4, 7, and 14, respectively. This method allows the quantitative determination of SAH volume based on 3D-CT, and may be useful in clinical studies of cerebral vasospasm.