oa Southern African Journal of Anaesthesia and Analgesia - Acute subarachnoid haemorrhage and the mysterious electrocardiogram : case studies

Volume 16, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 2220-1181
  • E-ISSN: 2220-1173



Subarachnoid haemorrhage (SAH) is a devastating neurological insult, and is increasingly understood as a multi-system condition initiated in the central nervous system. Perioperative investigation of patients presenting for aneurysm surgery often includes a routine electrocardiogram (ECG) which frequently reveals an abnormality. We describe a patient who presented with SAH and who was found to have significant Q waves on the ECG suggestive of a trans-mural myocardial infarction, despite a negative medical history for such an event. We brie­fly highlight the issues faced by the anaesthesiologist when dealing with the patient with SAH and ECG abnormality, and the implications for cardiovascular dysfunction.

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