Podcast #278: Subdural Hematomas

Author: Jared Scott, M.D.

Educational Pearls

  • Subdural hematomas can happen in the elderly because of brain atrophy, and can manifest with neurological deficit.
  • Subdural hematomas are caused by rupture of the bridging veins of the brain. This can be caused by trauma, brain atrophy, or possibly by anticoagulant use. They are crescent-shaped on head CT.  
  • Epidural hematomas, in contrast, are caused by rupture of meningeal arteries secondary to trauma. They are usually lens-shaped on head CT.
  • Subdurals are difficult to pick up on head CT because they may be isodense to brain tissue.

References: Management of Recurrent Subdural Hematomas Desai, Virendra R. et al. Neurosurgery Clinics , Volume 28 , Issue 2 , 279 – 286

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