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Complete heart block as the presenting feature in subarachnoid haemorrhage


Cardiac manifestations of subarachnoid haemorrhage (SAH) are well-documented phenomena that can complicate the treatment of this devastating condition. Here, we present a case of SAH presenting as complete heart block on initial assessment, an extremely rare event.

A 53-year-old woman presented with a witnessed fall, sustaining a mild head injury. She denied any symptoms of SAH. Initial ECG revealed complete heart block, for which the patient was accepted under the cardiology team. For completion, a CT head scan was requested, this demonstrated significant SAH blood load in an aneurysmal rather than traumatic pattern. CT angiogram and subsequent digital subtraction angiography confirmed a posterior communicating artery aneurysm as the cause of the SAH. This case highlights the importance of considering neurological diagnoses in patients with collapse even with concomitant cardiac abnormalities, as the two are often inextricably linked.

  • arrhythmias
  • stroke
  • neurology
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