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November 1979

Retinal Hemorrhages: Its Significance in 100 Patients With Acute Encephalopathy of Unknown Cause

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Neurology, Los Angeles County University of Southern California Medical Center, Los Angeles.

Arch Neurol. 1979;36(11):691-694. doi:10.1001/archneur.1979.00500470061012

• A total of 94 patients had subarachnoid hemorrhage and it was strongly suspected in the remaining six patients. Acute encephalopathy associated with independent ocular hemorrhage due to hypoxia, multiple emboli, or bleeding tendencies was not a diagnostic problem during this study. Aneurysms occurred in 64 patients (combined with vascular malformations in four), isolated vascular malformations in four; "spontaneous" hematomas in 13, evidence of cryptic head trauma in six, hemorrhage from a glioblastoma in one, and no cause was identified in six patients. Retinal hemorrhages were more prominent ipsilateral to the site of intracranial bleeding. No single aneurysm location predominated and multiple aneurysms were common. The high mortality of 56% supports previous conclusions that retinal hemorrhages tend to accompany severe intracranial bleeding.