Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Symptoms

Chronic Subdural Hematoma Overview

What is chronic subdural hematoma?
A person with a chronic subdural hematoma has an old collection of blood or blood breakdown products between the surface of the brain and the dura, the outermost covering of the brain. An acute subdural hematoma that remains untreated can lead to the formation of a chronic subdural hematoma. This condition is normally caused by a head injury. Up to one-half of patients with a chronic subdural have no identifiable history for head injury. If a patient does have a history for a head injury, it is usually mild. The average time between the diagnosis of chronic subdural hematoma and the inciting head injury is about one month.

What are the symptoms of chronic subdural hematoma?
The symptoms of a chronic subdural hematoma include memory loss, aphasia, confusion, difficulty speaking, difficulty swallowing, difficulty walking, headache, weakness or numbness in the face, arms or legs, and seizures.

How does the doctor treat chronic subdural hematoma?
The treatment of chronic subdural hematoma includes corticosteroid medications to reduce brain swelling or anticonvulsant medications to control or prevent seizures. Surgery may be required to relieve pressure and allow blood and fluids to be drained.

Continue to Chronic Subdural Hematoma Symptoms

Last Updated: Aug 18, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Chronic Subdural Hematoma References
  1. Bullock MR, Chesnut R, Ghajar J, Gordon D, Hartl R, Newell DW, Servadei F, Walters BC, Wilberger JE; Surgical Management of Traumatic Brain Injury Author Group. Surgical management of acute subdural hematomas. Neurosurgery. 2006 Mar;58(3 Suppl):S16-24; discussion Si-iv. [16710968]
  2. Jayawant S, Parr J. Outcome following subdural haemorrhages in infancy. Arch Dis Child. 2007 Apr;92(4):343-7. [17376941]
  3. Knopman DS, Petersen RC, Cha RH, Edland SD, Rocca WA. Incidence and causes of nondegenerative nonvascular dementia: a population-based study. Arch Neurol. 2006 Feb;63(2):218-21. [16476810]
  4. Provenzale J. CT and MR imaging of acute cranial trauma. Emerg Radiol. 2007 Apr;14(1):1-12. Epub 2007 Feb 22. [17318483]
  5. Walker RA, Wadman MC. Headache in the elderly. Clin Geriatr Med. 2007 May;23(2):291-305, v-vi. [17462518]
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