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Neurosurgery. 1992 Oct;31(4):678-84; discussion 684-5.

Intraventricular hemorrhage in blunt head trauma: an analysis of 43 cases.

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  • 1Department of Neurological Surgery, Harborview Medical Center, Seattle, Washington.


Before the advent of computed tomography, intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) from any source was thought rare and invariably fatal. Although intraventricular blood is readily identifiable with computed tomography, there has been little systematic study of its significance in blunt head trauma. Forty-three patients with traumatic IVH were prospectively identified in 1 year at Harborview Medical Center (University of Washington). Most were victims of motor vehicle accidents and suffered severe head injuries. IVH occurred alone in two patients; superficial contusions and subarachnoid hemorrhage were the most common associated finding. Blood was present in only one or both lateral ventricles in 25 patients; only the 3rd or 4th ventricles in 4 and all ventricles in 14 instances. There were 3 intracerebral hematomas and 14 basal ganglion hemorrhages. All of the former and half of the latter communicated with the adjacent lateral ventricle. Extra-axial hematomas appeared more common when only the lateral ventricles were involved, whereas corpus callosum or brain-stem hemorrhage appeared more likely when all the ventricles were involved. Acute hydrocephalus was rare, and ventricular drainage was needed in only four cases. Intracranial pressure (ICP) was elevated (> 15 mm Hg) in 46% of patients. The amount of IVH was related inversely with the Glasgow Coma Scale, but not with increased ICP. The presence of IVH indicated a poor outcome, with only half of the patients being independent at a 6-month follow-up. Poor outcome was associated with increasing age, low admission Glasgow Coma Scale, the presence of space occupying lesions if only the lateral ventricles were involved, and hemorrhage in all four ventricles.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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