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Nonaneurysmal perimesencephalic hemorrhage, a distinct form of subarachnoid hemorrhage, is a recently described variant of intracranial hemorrhage. We describe two patients who presented with unusual features of this type of subarachnoid hemorrhage and also two patients who had a perimesencephalic pattern of hemorrhage due to a ruptured posterior circulation aneurysm. The first patient, a 41-year-old woman with perimesencephalic hemorrhage, underwent an exploratory craniotomy because angiography had suggested an anomaly of the basilar tip. No source of hemorrhage could be identified at the time of surgery. The second patient was a 3-year-old boy who presented with opisthotonos and who was found to have a perimesencephalic hemorrhage. Angiography revealed no source for the hemorrhage. The third patient, a 54-year-old man, had a perimesencephalic pattern of subarachnoid hemorrhage from a vertebrobasilar junction aneurysm associated with a fenestration that was missed on the initial angiographic study. The fourth patient, a 43-year-old man, suffered a perimesencephalic pattern of subarachnoid hemorrhage from a small posterior cerebral artery aneurysm, which had not been recognized on two angiograms. These patients elaborate on the clinical spectrum of subarachnoid hemorrhage with a perimesencephalic pattern. First, a negative exploratory craniotomy suggests that the source of nonaneurysmal perimesencephalic hemorrhage may not be arterial. Second, nonaneurysmal perimesencephalic hemorrhage may also occur in children. Finally, the index of suspicion for a posterior circulation aneurysm should remain high in patients who present with a perimesencephalic pattern of subarachnoid hemorrhage, and these aneurysms may rise from unusual locations.


W I Schievink, E F Wijdicks, D G Piepgras, D A Nichols, M J Ebersold. Perimesencephalic subarachnoid hemorrhage. Additional perspectives from four cases. Stroke; a journal of cerebral circulation. 1994 Jul;25(7):1507-11

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PMID: 8023370

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