Sphenoid and subdural hemorrhage as a presenting sign of ruptured clinoid aneurysm

Daniel Shepherd, Joseph Kapurch, Sudhir Datar, Giuseppe Lanzino, Eelco F.M. Wijdicks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: Aneurysm rupture presenting as an isolated or pure subdural hematoma (SDH) without subarachnoid hemorrhage is an extremely rare radiographic presentation. We present a case of a ruptured internal carotid artery aneurysm with a pure SDH and concurrent sphenoid sinus hemorrhage. Methods: Case report and review of the literature. Results: We describe a case of a 48-year-old right-handed woman found comatose brought by emergency medical services to an outside hospital. A non-contrast head CT scan demonstrated bilateral acute SDHs without evidence of intraparenchymal or subarachnoid hemorrhage. A CT angiogram of the head showed a focal hyperdensity in the distal left internal carotid artery (ICA) and was confirmed by conventional cerebral angiography to be a 7-mm left supraclinoid ICA aneurysm. On repeat CT scan a new hemorrhage was seen in the sphenoid sinus indicating a re-bleeding. The aneurysm was treated with coil embolization and complete occlusion was confirmed with subsequent angiograms. The patient had an eventful hospital course complicated by a Takotsubo cardiomyopathy and pulmonary edema. She was medically treated with successful recovery of her cardiopulmonary function. She remained markedly disabled and was transferred to an inpatient rehabilitation center for continued convalescence. Conclusions: Acute subdural hematoma may be due to a ruptured clinoid carotid aneurysm. Acute hemorrhage into the sphenoid sinus can be an important clue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)489-493
Number of pages5
JournalNeurocritical care
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2014


  • Aneurysm rupture
  • Intracranial aneurysm
  • Pure subdural hematoma
  • Sphenoid sinus hemorrhage
  • Subdural hematoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology


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