Ruptured vertebrobasilar aneurysms: Frequency of the nonaneurysmal perimesencephalic pattern of hemorrhage on CT scans

David F. Kallmes, Hollins P. Clark, James E. Dix, Harry J. Cloft, Avery J. Evans, Jacques E. Dion, Neal F. Kassell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: To determine the frequency of the computed tomographic (CT) pattern of nonaneurysmal perimesencephalic subarachnoid hemorrhage in the setting of ruptured posterior fossa aneurysms. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Four neuroradiologists independently and retrospectively reviewed cranial CT scans of 169 patients with ruptured vertebrobasilar aneurysms (44 cases of posteroinferior cerebellar artery aneurysm, 20 cases of superior cerebellar artery aneurysm, and 105 cases of basilar-tip aneurysm). RESULTS: The mean frequency of nonaneurysmal perimesencephalic pattern of subarachnoid hemorrhage in ruptured vertebrobasilar aneurysms was 7.1% (48 of 676 readings) among the four readers. The mean frequency of aneurysms with the pattern of hemorrhage for each location was as follows: basilar tip, 9.8% (41 of 420 readings); superior cerebellar artery, 5.0% (four of 80 readings); and posteroinferior cerebellar artery, 0%. In 75% (six of eight) of the cases in which the CT pattern of hemorrhage was deemed compatible by all readers with nonaneurysmal hemorrhage, the clinical presentation was mild. CONCLUSION: Because ruptured posterior fossa aneurysms manifest with the nonaneurysmal pattern of hemorrhage in approximately 10% of cases, a high degree of suspicion should be maintained even if the pattern of subarachnoid hemorrhage suggests a nonaneurysmal origin and clinical symptoms are mild.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)657-660
Number of pages4
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 1996


  • Aneurysm, cerebral
  • Brain, CT
  • Brain, hemorrhage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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