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Brain Inj. 1998 Jul;12(7):595-603.

The pathogenesis and clinical significance of traumatic subdural hygroma.

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Department of Neurosurgery, Soonchunhyang University Chonan Hospital, Korea.


Subdural hygroma (SDG) is a common post-traumatic lesion. Despite its common occurrence, the pathogenesis and clinical significance are uncertain. The author reviewed the literature to clarify the present knowledge on the pathogenic, diagnostic and therapeutic aspects of this controversial lesion. A trivial trauma can cause a separation of the dura-arachnoid interface, which is the basic requirement for the development of a SDG. If the brain shrinks due to brain atrophy, excessive dehydration or decreased intracranial pressure, fluid collection may develop by a passive effusion. Most SDGs resolve when the brain is well expanded. However, a few SDGs become chronic subdural haematomas, when the necessary conditions persist over several weeks. Since the majority of patients with a SDG do not show a mass effect, surgery is rarely required. Outcome is closely related to the primary head injury not to the SDG itself. The complexity of SDG depends on various factors including the dynamics of absorption and expansion, duration of observation, and indication and rate of surgery, besides variety of the primary head injury in types and severity. SDG is a common epiphenomenon of head injury.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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