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Korean J Neurotrauma. 2015 Oct;11(2):27-34. doi: 10.13004/kjnt.2015.11.2.27. Epub 2015 Oct 31.

History of Chronic Subdural Hematoma.

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1
Department of Neurosurgery, Soonchunhyang University Cheonan Hospital, Cheonan, Korea.

Abstract

Trephination or trepanation is an intentional surgical procedure performed from the Stone Age. It looks like escaping a black evil from the head. This technique is still used for treatment of chronic subdural hematoma (SDH). Now, we know the origin, pathogenesis and natural history of this lesion. The author try to explore the history of trephination and modern discovery of chronic SDH. The author performed a detailed electronic search of PubMed. By the key word of chronic SDH, 2,593 articles were found without language restriction in May 2015. The author reviewed the fact and way, discovering the present knowledge on the chronic SDH. The first authentic report of chronic SDH was that of Wepfer in 1657. Chronic SDH was regarded as a stroke in 17th century. It was changed as an inflammatory disease in 19th century by Virchow, and became a traumatic lesion in 20th century. However, trauma is not necessary in many cases of chronic SDHs. The more important prerequisite is sufficient potential subdural space, degeneration of the brain. Modifying Virchow's description, chronic SDH is sometimes traumatic, but most often caused by severe degeneration of the brain. From Wepfer's first description, nearly 350 years passed to explore the origin, pathogenesis, and fate of chronic SDH. The nature of the black evil in the head of the Stone Age is uncovering by many authors riding the giant's shoulder. Chronic SDH should be categorized as a degenerative lesion instead of a traumatic lesion.

KEYWORDS:

Aging; Craniocerebral trauma; Hematoma, subdural, chronic; History; Trephination

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