Familial aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage: A community-based study

W. I. Schievink, D. J. Schaid, V. V. Michels, D. G. Piepgras

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166 Scopus citations


The familial occurrence of intracranial aneurysms has been well described. However, intracranial aneurysms are not rare and the great majority of reported families consist of only two affected members. Therefore, the familial aggregation of intracranial aneurysms could be fortuitous. The authors investigated the familial occurrence of aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) in their community to determine whether family members of patients with a ruptured aneurysm are at an increased risk of developing an SAH. All 81 patients from Rochester, Minnesota, who suffered an SAH between 1970 and 1989 from a proven aneurysmal rupture were identified, and they or their families were contacted and a family history wits obtained. The number of expected SAHs among first-degree relatives was calculated rising previously established age- and sex-specific incidence rates in the community of Rochester. Of the 81 index patients, 76 had complete follow up for family history. Fifteen (20%) of these 76 patients had a first- or second-degree relative with aneurysmal SAH. The number of observed first-degree relatives with aneurysmal SAH was 11, compared to an expected number of 2.66, giving a relative risk of 4.14 (95% confidence interval 2.06-7.40; p < 0.001). In the authors' community, aneurysmal SAH was familial in one of five patients, and this familial aggregation was not fortuitous. The increase in familial risk of aneurysmal SAH is approximately fourfold among first degree relatives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)426-429
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of neurosurgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1995


  • cerebral aneurysm
  • familial aneurysm
  • genetics
  • subarachnoid hemorrhage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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