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Subarachnoid haemorrhage of unknown cause: Clinical, neuroradiological and evolutive aspects.
Journal of Clinical Neuroscience
The clinical and radiological data of 52 patients with subarachnoid haemorrhage (SAH) and a negative panangiography were analysed with an average follow-up period of 3.8 years. Of these 52 patients, only one (1.9%) was subsequently found to have an aneurysm. Second angiography proved to be inconclusive in all 24 cases where it was performed. Of the 51 'true' non-aneurysmal SAH, 80% were in a good clinical grade on admission and 12% developed cerebral ischaemia. The mortality rate following SAH was 4%. There was one rebleeding. At follow-up examination, 87% of the patients had made a good recovery and 6% were left disabled due to SAH. Four patients with an aneurysmal pattern of SAH required a permanent shunt. All of the 22 patients with a perimesencephalic SAH were in a good neurological condition upon admission; one of them developed an angiography-induced transient cerebral ischaemia and another one suffered from a fatal rebleeding. None of the 21 survivors was disabled at follow-up examination. The clinical course of patients with SAH of unknown cause, especially those with a perimesencephalic pattern of haemorrhage, is good. Repeated angiography in this latter group is not useful. In the aneurysmal pattern SAH group, repeat angiography is advised only if there is strong computed tomographic (CT) scan suspicion of an aneurysm.
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