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CT Angiography Detects Aneurysms After Hemorrhage

Method helps find lesion quickly after a diagnosis of subarachnoid hemorrhage

THURSDAY, April 27 (HealthDay News) -- Computed tomographic angiography (CTA) is as sensitive in detecting aneurysms in patients with subarachnoid hemorrhage as conventional digital subtraction angiography, and can be done more quickly, according to research presented this week at the annual conference of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons in San Francisco.

Charles J. Prestigiacomo, M.D., of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in Newark, and colleagues studied the sensitivity of CTA in 179 patients with a subarachnoid hemorrhage initially detected by a CT scan.

CTA showed that 166 of the patients had one or more aneurysms, a result that was confirmed at surgery. Thirteen patients had negative results on CTA, results that were confirmed by subsequent digital subtraction angiography. One small aneurysm that was detected with digital subtraction angiography was missed during a CTA procedure that had technical difficulties.

"This method enables an accurate identification of the exact size, location and configuration of the lesion within 10 minutes of diagnosing a patient with subarachnoid hemorrhage, as opposed to the hours that it can take to transport the patient to the angiographic suite, prepare the patient, and then perform a full four-vessel angiogram that may itself take 30 to 60 minutes, or even longer," Prestigiacomo said in a statement. "Further studies are needed to determine whether CTA will replace digital subtraction angiography as a diagnostic tool in aneurysmal SAH," the authors conclude.

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