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Non-aneurysmal non-traumatic subarachnoid hemorrhage: patient characteristics, clinical outcome and prognostic factors based on a single-center experience in 125 patients

Juergen Konczalla*, Johannes Platz, Patrick Schuss, Hartmut Vatter, Volker Seifert and Erdem Güresir

Author Affiliations

Department of Neurosurgery, Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University Frankfurt am Main, Schleusenweg 2-16, 60528 Frankfurt am Main, Germany

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BMC Neurology 2014, 14:140  doi:10.1186/1471-2377-14-140

Published: 1 July 2014



Subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) is mainly caused by ruptured cerebral aneurysms but in up to 15% of patients with SAH no bleeding source could be identified. Our objective was to analyze patient characteristics, clinical outcome and prognostic factors in patients suffering from non-aneurysmal SAH.


From 1999 to 2009, data of 125 patients with non-aneurysmal SAH were prospectively entered into a database. All patients underwent repetitive cerebral angiography. Outcome was assessed according to the modified Rankin Scale (mRS) (mRS 0–2 favorable vs. 3–6 unfavorable). Also, patients were divided in two groups according to the distribution of blood in the CT scan (perimesencephalic and non-perimesencephalic SAH).


106 of the 125 patients were in good WFNS grade (I-III) at admission (85%). Overall, favorable outcome was achieved in 104 of 125 patients (83%). Favorable outcome was associated with younger age (P < 0.001), good admission status (P < 0.0001), and absence of hydrocephalus (P = 0.001).

73 of the 125 patients suffered from perimesencephalic SAH, most patients (90%) were in good grade at admission, and 64 achieved favorable outcome.

52 of the 125 patients suffered from non-perimesencephalic SAH and 40 were in good grade at admission. Also 40 patients achieved favorable outcome.


Patients suffering from non-aneurysmal SAH have better prognosis compared to aneurysm related SAH and poor admission status was the only independent predictor of unfavorable outcome in the multivariate analysis. Patients with a non-perimesencephalic SAH have an increased risk of a worse neurological outcome. These patients should be monitored attentively.

Non-aneurysmal; Aneurysm; Perimesencephalic; Non-perimesencephalic; Prepontine; Subarachnoid hemorrhage; SAH