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Jafar JJ; Weiner HL
"Surgery for angiographically occult cerebral aneurysms [see comments]" [Comment]
Journal of neurosurgery 1993 Nov; 79(5):674-679
In 15% of patients with spontaneous subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH), the source of bleeding cannot be determined despite repeated cerebral angiography. However, some patients diagnosed as having 'SAH of unknown cause' actually harbor undetected aneurysms. The authors report six patients with SAH who, despite multiple negative cerebral angiograms, underwent exploratory surgery due to a high clinical and radiographic suspicion for the presence of an aneurysm. Brain computerized tomography (CT) scans revealed blood located mainly in the basal frontal interhemispheric fissure in four patients, in the sylvian fissure in one patient, and in the interpeduncular cistern in one patient. The patients were evaluated as Hunt and Hess Grades I to III, and had undergone at least two high-quality cerebral angiograms that did not reveal an aneurysm. Vasospasm was visualized in two patients. Three patients rebled while in the hospital. Exploratory surgery was performed at an average of 12 days post-SAH. Five aneurysms were discovered at surgery and were successfully clipped. All four patients with interhemispheric blood were found to have an anterior communicating artery (ACoA) aneurysm. The patient with blood in the sylvian fissure was found to have a middle cerebral artery aneurysm. These aneurysms were partially thrombosed. No aneurysm was detected in the patient with interpeduncular SAH, despite extensive basilar artery exploration. Five patients had an excellent outcome and one patient developed diabetes insipidus. These results show that exploratory aneurysm surgery is warranted, despite repeated negative cerebral angiograms, if the patient manifests the classical signs of SAH with CT scans localizing blood to a specific cerebral blood vessel (particularly the ACoA) and if a second SAH is documented at the same site

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