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Eur Radiol. 2005 Jun;15(6):1135-47. Epub 2005 Feb 12.

Current diagnostic approaches to subarachnoid haemorrhage.

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University Department of Radiology, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, UK.


Over the past decade, significant advances have been made in the field of subarachnoid haemorrhage (SAH). Prompt diagnosis with high-resolution CT and intensive critical care support remain key aspects of good patient management. Early identification and definitive treatment of underlying ruptured aneurysms is generally advocated to reduce the risk of re-bleeding, a complication with high mortality and morbidity. Although intra-arterial digital subtraction angiography (DSA) is still considered the gold standard for sourcing aneurysms, CT angiography, especially with the evolution of multi-slice technology, is slowly gaining acceptance as a rapid, accessible and minimally invasive method which appears likely to replace DSA as first-line modality in the future. Furthermore, the advent of Guglielmi detachable coils and the ISAT trial have revolutionised the treatment of ruptured aneurysms, with a significant trend towards endovascular coiling away from operative clipping. Improvements in clinical experience, coiling technology and assistive devices now allow interventionalists to potentially treat the majority of aneurysms, including wide-necked or complex lesions. The uncertain long-term results of coiling, however, still fuel strong debate and controversy. This review summarises current diagnostic approaches to SAH from a radiological perspective, with an emphasis on aneurysmal SAH and an evidence-based approach to the role of imaging and interventional radiology in diagnosis, treatment and follow-up.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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