Recognizing rare signs of delayed cerebral ischemia (DCI) is crucial to caring for patients with subarachnoid hemorrhage. The authors presented a case of central hearing loss that occurred during the clinical course of a patient treated for aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage.
The patient had a ruptured right posterior communicating artery aneurysm successfully treated with coil embolization but later developed severe vasospasm and DCI. She developed bilateral hearing loss, and imaging revealed DCI to the left temporal lobe and the right auditory cortex. Computed tomography angiography and digital subtraction angiography demonstrated severe vasospasm of bilateral internal carotid arteries, bilateral middle cerebral arteries, and bilateral anterior cerebral arteries. One month after hospitalization, the patient had recovered fully neurologically intact except for persistent hearing loss.
This case serves to teach important neuroanatomical features and discuss the unique pathophysiology of DCI affecting the auditory cortex.