Purpose: The aim of this guideline is to present current and comprehensive recommendations for the diagnosis and treatment of aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH).
Methods: A formal literature search of MEDLINE (November 1, 2006, through May 1, 2010) was performed. Data were synthesized with the use of evidence tables. Writing group members met by teleconference to discuss data-derived recommendations. The American Heart Association Stroke Council's Levels of Evidence grading algorithm was used to grade each recommendation. The guideline draft was reviewed by 7 expert peer reviewers and by the members of the Stroke Council Leadership and Manuscript Oversight Committees. It is intended that this guideline be fully updated every 3 years.
Results: Evidence-based guidelines are presented for the care of patients presenting with aSAH. The focus of the guideline was subdivided into incidence, risk factors, prevention, natural history and outcome, diagnosis, prevention of rebleeding, surgical and endovascular repair of ruptured aneurysms, systems of care, anesthetic management during repair, management of vasospasm and delayed cerebral ischemia, management of hydrocephalus, management of seizures, and management of medical complications.
Conclusions: aSAH is a serious medical condition in which outcome can be dramatically impacted by early, aggressive, expert care. The guidelines offer a framework for goal-directed treatment of the patient with aSAH.