The use of CT angiography in acute subarachnoid haemorrhage in Eastern Scotland

P White, R Macpherson, R Sellar, Robin Sellar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


INTRODUCTION: Early confirmation of aneurysmal cause for SAH can expedite patient management and thus minimise rebleed risk. CT Angiography is the first-line method for diagnosing the cause of SAH in most UK regions. We wanted to assess the use of CTA in this context in the East of Scotland and determine how imaging delays contribute to overall delay from ictus to aneurysm treatment.

METHODS: A prospective audit of aneurysmal SAH admissions over a three month period to the Neurosciences Unit in Edinburgh was performed. The time from diagnosis of SAH to aneurysm imaging with CTA and/or DSA and time from aneurysm confirmation to definitive treatment was ascertained.

RESULTS: Twenty nine patients with aneurysmal SAH were admitted during the audit. Four patients had CTA expeditiously after SAH was diagnosed; the remaining 25 patients had a substantially greater wait for aneurysm imaging, involving transfer to a neuroscience centre. Average excess delay was 17 hours for CTA (72 hours for DSA).

DISCUSSION: CTA widely available and accurate method of determining the cause of SAH. Performing immediate CTA after SAH is confirmed could reduce delays to aneurysm treatment by up to 64%. By thus reducing rebleeds post SAH, immediate CTA could reduce poor outcomes in the East of Scotland.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-3
Number of pages4
JournalScottish Medical Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2009


  • Cerebral Angiography
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Aneurysm
  • Prospective Studies
  • Subarachnoid Hemorrhage
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed


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