There is considerable variability in the presentation of patients with acute subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH). Evidence suggests that a thick, diffuse clot better predicts the development of delayed cerebral ischemia and poor outcomes. In a rodent model of acute SAH, we directly measured the effects of the volume of blood injected versus the pattern of distribution of hemorrhage in the subarachnoid space on markers of early brain injury, namely, cerebral blood flow (CBF), cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) concentrations of P450 eicosanoids and catecholamines, and cortical spreading depolarizations (CSDs). There is a significant decrease in CBF, an increase in CSF biomarkers, and a trend toward increasing frequency and severity of CSDs when grouped by severity of hemorrhage but not by volume of blood injected. In severe hemorrhage grade animals, there was a progressive decrease in CBF after successive CSD events. These results suggest that the pattern of SAH (thick diffuse clots) correlates with the “clinical” severity of SAH.