An Analysis of 88 Patients with Diffuse and “Benign” Perimesencephalic Subarachnoid Hemorrhage

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Background and Study Aims

Perimesencephalic subarachnoid hemorrhage (PMSAH) was previously defined as a variant of subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) associated with a relatively benign clinical presentation and better outcomes than aneurysmal SAH. However, several prior studies have shown complications associated with PMSAH including vasospasm and hydrocephalus, and the need for follow-up imaging. We therefore reviewed our experience to further characterize the clinical consequences of PMSAH.

Materials and Methods

Eighty-eight consecutive patients who sustained spontaneous intracranial SAH and whose cerebral angiograms did not show any obvious source for SAH were retrospectively studied to characterize their prognosis and outcome based on SAH pattern. Glasgow Coma Scale and Hunt-Hess scores on admission, the incidence of vasospasm or hydrocephalus, the need for an external ventricular drain, and shunt dependence, along with Glasgow outcome score (GOS) at discharge and follow-up, were used to draw comparisons between perimesencephalic and diffuse SAH patient populations.


Patients with perimesencephalic SAH differed statistically (p < 0.05) from patients with diffuse SAH in regard to age, Hunt-Hess score on presentation, hospital length of stay, GOS at discharge, and incidence of hydrocephalus, angiographic vasospasm, and clinical vasospasm.


Our data demonstrate that although the patients with perimesencephalic SAH fared better than those with diffuse SAH, their outcomes were worse than those of similar patients with PMSAH who have been previously reported in the literature.

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