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Tuesday 15 June 2021
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Investigations

Diagnosis/Investigation


Diagnosis of SAH is confirmed by CT scan and/or lumbar puncture. Following the scan, an angiogram is performed to see if the bleed has been caused by a ruptured aneurysm. There are various methods of angiogram that will result in pictures being created of the cerebral circulation.

 

SAH angiogram
Cerebral angiogram

Conventional/Catheter Angiography

 

This test may involve the injection of a dye into the bloodstream through a vessel in the groin although other types of non-invasive scans (CT or MRI) may be done instead to achieve angiogram-style pictures. If an aneurysm that has bled is found then an important part of the treatment that follows is to ensure that it does not bleed again.

 

SAH cta
Circle of Willis and its position at the base of the brain

Computerised Tomography Angiography (CTA)

 

The blood vessels of the brain may be examined by performing another type of investigation other than a conventional angiogram. A Computerised Tomography (CT) scan of the blood vessels in the brain may be performed – this is called a CTA or CT angiogram. This examines the Circle of Willis or cerebral circulation for abnormalities such as aneurysms.

 

Magnetic Resonance Angiography

 

Another method of performing an angiogram is an MRA or Magnetic Resonance angiogram. This is a little more time consuming however, and therefore it is more often used in follow up rather than when someone is acutely ill.