The brain is surround by three linings. The outermost, or dura mater, is the thickest. Injuries the head and brain, frequently lead to bleeding in the space between the dura and the underlying brain. Acute injuries are associated with subdural hematomas that frequently have injuries to the underlying brain as well. They may rapidly accumulate. Many of these people suffer severe neurological injuries and death. Chronic subdural hematomas occur when a previous hemorrhage is not reabsorbed. The body forms a lining around the blood. This lining becomes vascularized and, periodically, may bleed further into the cavity. Due to their slow development, chronic subdural hematomas can reach very large sizes. They can present with a wide spectrum of symptoms.
Causes of Subdural Hemorrhage And Hematoma
Acute subdural hematoma is usually caused by trauma. They may occur when an individual is on blood thinners. Sometimes, there is not specific head injury that can be recalled. Chronic subdural hematomas usually develop around a blood clot which is not reabsorbed. Instead, it becomes walled off. The vascularized wall may further bleed into the cavity, expanding it. Occasionally arteriovenous malformation, aneurysms and brain tumors may bleed into the subdural space leading to a subdural hematoma.
Signs and Symptoms of Subdural Hemorrhage And Hematoma
Acute subdural hematomas are frequently associated with severe head injuries. There may be seizures, weakness or numbness of a portion of the body. Speech may be impaired. The individual may be lethargic or in coma. If the blood clot had damaged the brainstem, abnormal posturing of the extremities may occur. There may be differences in the sizes of the two pupils. Nausea and vomiting may occur. Chronic subdural hematomas may be asymptomatic for long periods. They can present with gradually increasing headaches. There may be forgetfulness, gait disturbances or weakness and incoordination. Sudden deterioration may occur, due to additional bleeding, that can lead to coma and death.
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Medical Content Last Updated on 07/12/2008
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