Imaging predictors of outcome in acute spontaneous subarachnoid hemorrhage: a review of the literature

Acta Radiol. 2019 Feb;60(2):247-259. doi: 10.1177/0284185118778877. Epub 2018 May 23.


Spontaneous subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) accounts for about 5% of strokes, but has a very high morbidity and mortality. Many survivors are left with important cognitive impairment and are severely incapacitated. Prediction of complications such as vasospasm and delayed cerebral ischemia, and of clinical outcome after SAH, is challenging. Imaging studies are essential in the initial evaluation of SAH patients and are increasingly relevant in assessing for complications and prognosis. In this article, we reviewed the role of imaging studies in evaluating early brain injury and predicting complications as well as clinical and neuropsychological prognosis after acute SAH.

Keywords: Subarachnoid hemorrhage; cerebral perfusion; computed tomography; delayed cerebral ischemia; diffusion-weighted imaging; early brain injury; magnetic resonance imaging; prognosis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Humans
  • Neuroimaging / methods*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prognosis
  • Subarachnoid Hemorrhage / diagnostic imaging*