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Anaesthesist. 1992;41(5):276-84.

[Subdural and epidural hematomas following epidural anesthesia. A literature review].

[Article in German]

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Institut für Anästhesiologie, Klinikum Minden.


Of 434 cases of epidural, subdural, and intracranial haematomas published in the last 2-3 decades, 61 had developed following spinal, epidural or caudal anaesthetic procedures; 29 haematomas were around the spinal cord and 32, within the cranium. The most frequent secondary cause of this complication was pre-, intra-, or postoperative administration of drugs influencing blood coagulation. Simultaneous traumatic and haemorrhagic punctures may favour the development of a haematoma. The most common primary symptom of lumbothoracic haematomas was back pain with and without radicular symptoms, while intracranial haematomas were predominantly accompanied by persistent headache. Continuous postoperative follow-up of such patients is essential. Postoperative results of laminectomies for lumbothoracic haematomas has been found to on the time interval between the first symptoms and the start of surgery. If surgery is performed within 8 h after the onset of paraplegia the prognosis is relatively good. Compared with the frequency of spinal, epidural, and caudal anaesthetic procedures throughout the world, haematomas of the lumbothoracic or cranial region are extremely rare complications.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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