This study aimed to determine the yield of repetitive catheter angiography (digital subtraction angiography (DSA)) for the detection of causative vascular lesions in patients with nontraumatic subarachnoidal hemorrhage (SAH) and negative initial DSA. We hypothesize that a second DSA might be helpful to detect an initially occult bleeding source. We retrospectively evaluated 649 patients with acute SAH and invasive catheter angiographies between 2004 and 2012. In 90 SAH patients initial imaging was negative concerning a causative bleeding source. A total of 113 repetitive DSA were performed. Two neuroradiologists reanalyzed the initial imaging and the result of the reangiography independently. In 4/90 patients (4.5 %) bleeding source was first detected in the second or third DSA. In all other patients, no causative vascular lesion was found. Reasons for the initially false negative diagnostics were one dissecting aneurysm and thrombosis of three aneurysms within the acute phase of SAH. Repetitive DSA revealed the cause of SAH in 4.5 % of the cases. These findings have a therapeutic and prognostic impact. We think that at least a second DSA should be part of diagnostic work-up in patients with SAH and missing bleeding source, even considering the risk of an additional invasive angiography itself.