What is spontaneous subdural hematoma (SDH)?

Updated: Jul 26, 2018
  • Author: Richard J Meagher, MD; Chief Editor: Helmi L Lutsep, MD  more...
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Answer

Spontaneous subdural hematoma is rare. The literature is limited to sporadic case reports. These cases often have an arterial source; they are usually associated with the same pathology as that involved in subarachnoid or intracerebral hemorrhage. The blood from a ruptured aneurysm may dissect through the brain parenchyma or subarachnoid space into the subdural space.

Likewise, the blood released from a "hypertensive" intracerebral hemorrhage can dissect into the subdural space. In fact, a case has been reported of an acute spontaneous subdural hematoma precipitated by cocaine abuse.

Coagulopathy, occasionally associated with malignancy, also has been associated with spontaneous subdural hematoma. Subdural hematoma also can be caused by bleeding from intracranial tumors. The treatment of spontaneous subdural hematoma is similar to that of subdural hematoma caused by trauma, but the underlying cause must be sought and treated.


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