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J Neurosurg. 2001 Aug;95(2):206-12.

Surgical anatomy of the cerebral arteries in patients with subarachnoid hemorrhage: comparison of computerized tomography angiography and digital subtraction angiography.

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Department of Radiology, University Medical Center, Utrecht, The Netherlands.



The purpose of this study was to compare computerized tomography (CT) angiography and digital subtraction (DS) angiography studies in patients with subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) to assess their vascular anatomy relevant to cerebral aneurysm surgery.


From a prospective series of 100 patients with SAH, the authors selected 73 patients whose CT angiography studies were of adequate quality and in whom DS angiography of both carotid arteries had been performed. Eleven patients with no DS angiographic studies of the vertebrobasilar artery were only evaluated for the anterior half of the circle of Willis. Anterior communicating arteries (ACoAs), both precommunicating anterior cerebral arteries (A1 segments), both posterior communicating arteries (PCoAs), and both precommunicating posterior cerebral arteries (P1 segments) were assessed on CT angiography and DS angiography by two independent observers.


Computerized tomography angiography compares well with DS angiography for visualizing normal-sized arteries, and is superior for visualizing ACoAs and hypoplastic A1 and P, segments. Important preoperative aspects such as dominant A1 segments and PCoAs are equally well seen using either modality. Neither method enabled the authors to visualize more than 50% of PCoAs. Use of CT angiography can provide the required preoperative anatomical information for aneurysm surgery in most patients with SAH.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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