Background: Traumatic clival epidural hematoma is an extremely rare reported entity.
Case description: We describe the case of a 26-year-old woman involved in a car accident who presented with a Glasgow Coma Scale score of 13, bilateral abducens palsy, bilateral numbness on the mandibular territory of the trigeminal nerve, and left hypoglossal palsy. Radiological examinations revealed a clival epidural hematoma. The patient was managed conservatively, with clinical improvement of her neurological condition. This is the first traumatic clival epidural hematoma reported in an adult. From a review of the literature, we found only 8 cases.
Conclusion: The pathophysiology of these hematomas is still a subject of debate; occipitoatlantoaxial ligamentous instability may play a role in it. In one third of the cases, bilateral cranial nerve palsies were associated. Apparently, they have a benign outcome.