Evaluate the incidence, neurologic morbidity, and mortality of patients with Terson syndrome.
Consecutive patients admitted to the Hamilton General Hospital from May 2012 to May 2013 with a diagnosis of spontaneous subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) were recruited. Funduscopic examinations were performed under pharmacological mydriasis. Outcome measures included: (1) the presence or absence of Terson syndrome; (2) The Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS), Hunt and Hess scale (H&H), and SAH Fisher score upon admission to the hospital; (3) the modified Rankin score upon discharge; and (4) and all-cause mortality.
Forty-six patients were included and 10 had Terson syndrome (21%). The median H&H, GCS, and Fisher scores were 4, 6.5, and 4.0 for patients with Terson syndrome vs. 2, 14, and 3 for patients without Terson syndrome (p=0.0032, 0.0052, and 0.031), respectively. The median Rankin score was 6 for patients with Terson syndrome vs. 3.5 for patients without Terson syndrome (p=0.0019). The odds of all-cause mortality with Terson syndrome vs. no Terson syndrome was 12: 1 (95% confidence interval 2.33-61.7), p =0.003. Only four of the 10 patients with Terson syndrome survived.
Based on this study, approximately one-fifth of patients admitted to the hospital with a spontaneous SAH could have Terson syndrome. Patients with Terson syndrome have significantly worse GCS and H&H scores upon admission to the hospital, lower modified Rankin scores upon discharge, and greater mortality. Thus, Terson syndrome is not rare among patients with SAH and carries a worse prognosis.