Subarachnoid Hemorrhage Differential Diagnoses

Updated: Dec 07, 2018
  • Author: Tibor Becske, MD; Chief Editor: Helmi L Lutsep, MD  more...
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Diagnostic Considerations

Missing SAH obviously carries major medicolegal consequences. [14] In the emergency department, clinicians should err on the side of "overtapping" patients.

A good history of the current headache is essential, even in known migraineurs, and if the presentation has any unusual aspects (eg, worst ever headache, episode of loss of consciousness, first ever episode of diplopia), obtain a CT scan of the head and perform a lumbar puncture even if the CT scan is negative for blood. Do not forget to measure opening pressure and adequately check for xanthochromia.

Differential Diagnoses