Which conditions should be included in the differential diagnoses for subdural hematoma (SDH) patient?

Updated: Jul 26, 2018
  • Author: Richard J Meagher, MD; Chief Editor: Helmi L Lutsep, MD  more...
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The differential diagnosis of an acute traumatic subdural hematoma is the same as that for any traumatic, intracranial mass lesion. This includes intracerebral hematoma and contusion.

Because of its variable course and presentation, including the frequent lack of a history of head trauma, as many as 72% of cases of chronic subdural hematoma were misdiagnosed in the pre–computed tomography (CT) era. Prior to the availability of CT, common misdiagnoses included the following:

  • Dementia

  • Stroke

  • Transient ischemic attack

  • Tumor

  • Subarachnoid hemorrhage

  • Meningitis

  • Encephalitis

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