The predictive value of cranial computed tomography (CT) blood load and serial transcranial Doppler sonography for the development of delayed ischaemic neurological deficit was assessed in 121 patients following subarachnoid haemorrhage. Of the 121 patients, 81 (67%) had thick layers of blood or haematoma, including intraventricular bleeding. The proportion of patients who developed delayed deficit was higher with increasing amounts of subarachnoid blood on the admission CT (51% of 53 cases in Fisher grade 3; 35% of 33 cases in grade 2; 28% of 7 cases in grade 1, P<0.01). Doppler velocities obtained from readings at least every 2 days following admission were higher in patients with delayed neurological deficit (peak velocity for grade 3 patients 176±6 cm/s (mean±SE), versus grade 2: 164±7 cm/s; grade 4 149±9, both P=0.04, Mann-Whitney). Peak velocity and maximal 24-h rise tended to be higher within different CT grades in patients with a deficit than in those without; this difference was significant for grade 3 patients (P<0.01). We conclude that a combined approach with CT and Doppler sonography provides greater predictive value for the development of delayed ischaemic neurological deficit than either test considered independently. The value of Doppler sonography may be greatest for patients with Fisher grade 3 blood, in whom the risk of delayed ischaemia is greatest.
- Computed tomography
- Doppler sonography
- Subarachnoid haemorrhage
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Clinical Neurology