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Home Diseases Neurosurgery Intracranial hematoma

Intracranial hematoma

Specialization: Neurosurgery

Intracranial hematoma: Causes, Diagnostic Methods and Treatment

Intracranial hematoma is result of blood cells accumulation under the skull. Hematoma occurrence can be triggered by vessel wall rupture or severe skull trauma. Blood collects in tissues, putting pressure on the brain.

Hematoma can be formed even after minor injury. It has high life threatening nature and requires immediate surgery for removing excess blood.

What causes intracranial hematoma?

Mostly, intracranial cavity hematoma appears after head injury – accident, fall from a great height, sports accident, and so on. Elderly people should remember that even very insignificant injury can be fraught with them. Specifically if person takes blood thinners and similar drugs.

Genetic factor cannot be ignored either. Sometimes person from birth has vessels with thin walls – hematoma can form even with slight pressure on skin. In addition, the likelihood of encountering this pathology is higher for people:

  • excessive alcohol consumption;
  • taking aspirin-like drugs on daily basis;
  • suffering from hypertension as chronic disease.

Intracranial hematoma symptoms

Warnings signals may appear soon after injury, but sometimes they don’t appear until a couple of weeks or more have passed. Every day after, hematoma intracranial pressure on tissue becomes stronger, as evidenced by following:

  • vomit;
  • headache throbbing at injury site and increases gradually;
  • frequent consciousness loss, constant state of drowsiness;
  • confused thoughts, incoherent speech, inability to navigate events and space;
  • different pupil sizes;
  • often, body part opposite the injured one is subjected to numbness.

More blood flows into the brain and fills free cavities, following may be observed:

  • sleep close to lethargic;
  • frequent convulsions;
  • causeless loss of consciousness, frequent and prolonged;
  • consciousness and speech are unstable, confused.

Intracranial hematoma diagnosis and treatment

Diagnosing hematoma presence is quite difficult. This is because a person may seem quite healthy. Effective diagnostic methods in neurosurgery are as follows.

  1. CT – in picture, doctor can visually determine hematoma location and its progression degree.
  2. MRI.
  3. Angiogram. This method is more used as additional one – to determine general condition of cerebral vessels.

Intracranial hematoma treatment doesn’t necessarily involve surgery.

  1. Small hematoma that doesn’t disturb the patient is not removed – doctor only observes it and general symptoms. Regular tomography is carried out; pressure inside the skull is under control.
  2. Surgical intervention:
    • drainage. When blood passes into a more liquefied state, doctor removes excess fluid from the skull using suction;
    • trepanation. If hematoma has reached larger size, the skull must be opened.

How serious is an intracranial hematoma?

Recovery process after intracranial hematomas removal can take quite a long time. Additionally, a person may not fully recover. Maximum recovery can take about 3 months. If neurological disorders persist, patient may be prescribed physio- and occupational therapy.