Epidural Hematoma Anatomy
To better understand epidural hematoma, it helps to understand the anatomy of the brain and meninges.
The dura is the lining that surrounds the brain and the spinal cord. In the head, the dura attaches to specific locations of the inside of the skull. Between the attachment points, blood vessels lie between the dura and the inside of the skull.
The brain is well protected by:
- The scalp
- The skull
- The dura
The brain is a complicated structure containing many parts. These include:
- The cerebrum:
- Made up of two cerebral hemispheres that are connected in the middle
- It is the largest part of the brain
- Each area of the cerebrum performs an important function, such as language or movement
- Higher thought (cognition) comes from the frontal cortex (front portion of the cerebrum)
- Outside of the cerebrum are blood vessels
- There are fluid-filled cavities and channels inside the brain
- The cerebellum:
- The brainstem and pituitary gland:
- Responsible for involuntary functions such as breathing, body temperature, and blood pressure regulation
- Pituitary gland is the "master gland" that controls other endocrine glands in the body, such as the thyroid and adrenal glands
- Pineal gland
- The cranial nerves:
- Twelve large nerves exit the bottom of the brain to supply function to the senses such as hearing, vision, and taste
- The cerebral blood vessels:
The blood supply to the brain is divided into two main parts:
- Anterior cerebral circulation:
- Posterior cerebral circulation:
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- Forbes BJ, Cox M, Christian CW. Retinal hemorrhages in patients with epidural hematomas. J AAPOS. 2008 Feb 6; Forbes BJ, Cox M, Christian CW.
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- Provenzale J. CT and MR imaging of acute cranial trauma. Emerg Radiol. 2007 Apr;14(1):1-12. Epub 2007 Feb 22.