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Papers of the Week

2023 Jan




Management of Poor-Grade Aneurysmal Subarachnoid Hemorrhage and Key Pearls for Achieving Favorable Outcomes: An Illustrative Case.


Bamimore MA, Lee SJ, Perez Vega C, Brown N, Gendreau JL, Al Shaikh R H, Jeevaratnam S, Freeman WD
Cureus. 2023 Jan; 15(1):e33217.
PMID: 36733562.


Poor-grade aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH) is associated with high patient mortality. Despite recent advances in management strategies, the prognosis for poor-grade aSAH remains dismal. We present a challenging case of a patient presenting with poor-grade aSAH. A 46-year-old female presented to the emergency department after losing consciousness following a sudden headache. The examination showed a dilated left pupil and a Glasgow Coma Scale of 4. Imaging revealed a ruptured anterior communicating artery (ACoM) aneurysm, after which the patient was subsequently taken to the neuro-interventional radiology suite. We showed that carefully managing blood pressure and intracranial pressure (ICP) makes it possible to achieve a favorable outcome and reduce the risk of secondary brain injury in aSAH, regardless of patient presentation. We propose maintaining blood pressure at <160 mmHg prior to intervention, after which it can be permitted to increase to 160-240 mmHg for the purpose of preventing vasospasm. Additionally, transcranial doppler (TCD) is essential to detect vasospasm due to the subtility of symptoms in patients with aSAH. Once identified, vasospasm can be successfully treated with balloon angioplasty. Finally, targeted temperature management (TTM), mannitol, hypertonic saline, and neuromuscular paralysis are essential for the postoperative management of ICP levels.