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Acta Neurochir (Wien). 2017 Jul;159(7):1305-1312. doi: 10.1007/s00701-016-3072-1. Epub 2017 Jan 27.

Computed tomography angiography spot sign predicts intraprocedural aneurysm rupture in subarachnoid hemorrhage.

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Department of Neurosurgery, University Hospital Zurich, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.
Department of Neurosurgery, University Hospital Zurich, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.
Department of Neurosurgery, Kantonsspital St. Gallen, St. Gallen, Switzerland.
Department of Neurosurgery, Hospitaux Universitaires de Geneve (HUG), Geneva, Switzerland.
Department of Neurosurgery, Inselspital Bern, Bern, Switzerland.
Department of Neurosurgery, University Clinic Basel, Basel, Switzerland.
Department of Neurosurgery, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois (CHUV), Lausanne, Switzerland.
Department of Neurosurgery, Ospedale Regionale di Lugano, Lugano, Switzerland.
Department of Neurosurgery, University Hospital Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany.



To analyze whether the computed tomography angiography (CTA) spot sign predicts the intraprocedural rupture rate and outcome in patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH).


From a prospective nationwide multicenter registry database, 1023 patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH) were analyzed retrospectively. Descriptive statistics and logistic regression analysis were used to compare spot sign-positive and -negative patients with aneurysmal intracerebral hemorrhage (aICH) for baseline characteristics, aneurysmal and ICH imaging characteristics, treatment and admission status as well as outcome at discharge and 1-year follow-up (1YFU) using the modified Rankin Scale (mRS).


A total of 218 out of 1023 aSAH patients (21%) presented with aICH including 23/218 (11%) patients with spot sign. Baseline characteristics were comparable between spot sign-positive and -negative patients. There was a higher clip-to-coil ratio in patients with than without aICH (both spot sign positive and negative). Median aICH volume was significantly higher in the spot sign-positive group (50 ml, 13-223 ml) than in the spot sign-negative group (18 ml, 1-416; p < 0.0001). Patients with a spot sign-positive aICH thus were three times as likely as those with spot sign-negative aICH to show an intraoperative aneurysm rupture [odds ratio (OR) 3.04, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.04-8.92, p = 0.046]. Spot sign-positive aICH patients showed a significantly worse mRS at discharge (p = 0.039) than patients with spot sign-negative aICH (median mRS 5 vs. 4). Logistic regression analysis showed that the spot sign was an aICH volume-dependent predictor for outcome. Both spot sign-positive and -negative aICH patients showed comparable rates of hospital death, death at 1YFU and mRS at 1YFU.


In this multicenter data analysis, patients with spot sign-positive aICH showed higher aICH volumes and a higher rate of intraprocedural aneurysm rupture, but comparable long-term outcome to spot sign-negative aICH patients.


Aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH); Computed tomography angiography (CTA) spot sign; Intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH); Intraprocedural aneurysma rupture

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