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J Trauma Acute Care Surg. 2012 Jul;73(1):131-6. doi: 10.1097/TA.0b013e31824aff74.

The impact of traumatic subarachnoid hemorrhage on outcome: a study with grouping of traumatic subarachnoid hemorrhage and transcranial Doppler sonography.

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Department of Neurosurgery, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Chang Gung University, Taoyuan, Taiwan.



To clarify the clinical role of traumatic subarachnoid hemorrhage (tSAH), stratified analysis with grouping of tSAH was performed. Their blood flow changes and correlations with outcome were assayed.


One hundred seventeen tSAH patients were classified into several groups according to their initial computerized tomography scans. Group I included patients with tSAH only in the posterior interhemispheric fissure, whereas Group II contained patients with tSAH located elsewhere. Group II was further subdivided into IIa, little SAH; IIb, extensive SAH; IIc, little SAH with intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH); and IId, extensive SAH with IVH. The cerebral blood flow velocity was monitored using transcranial Doppler sonography (TCD).


Both age and initial coma scale were independent predictors of poor outcome. The poor outcome rates in various subgroups of tSAH increased stepwise from group I to group IId (I, 7.4%; IIa, 18.4%; IIb, 33.3%; IIc, 62.5%; and IId, 90.9%) (p = 0.0010). Stratified analyses revealed that patients with extensive tSAH (group IIb + IId) were more likely to have unfavorable outcomes (47.7%) than patients with little tSAH (group IIa + IIc) (26.1%) (p = 0.0185); patients with IVH (group IIc + IId) also displayed a higher incidence (78.9%) of poor outcomes than patients without IVH (group IIa + IIb) (25.4%) (p = 0.0030). TCD study demonstrated that patients with extensive tSAH (group IIb + IId) were more likely to have the vasospasm based on TCD criteria than did patients in group I and group IIa + IIc (37.5% vs. 5.9% and 7.7%, p = 0.0105). Notably, there was a tendency of worse outcome in patients with vasospasm on the basis of TCD-derived criteria than those without, with the unfavorable outcome rates being 47.4% and 24.7% (p = 0.0799).


Age, initial coma scale, extensive tSAH, and IVH are independent predictors of poor outcome in the cohort of tSAH patients. Statistically, patients with extensive tSAH are significantly more likely to have vasospasm.

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