Supratentorial epidural hematoma of traumatic etiology in infants

Childs Nerv Syst. 2007 Mar;23(3):335-41. doi: 10.1007/s00381-006-0230-4. Epub 2006 Oct 24.


Introduction and background: Traumatic epidural hematoma (EDH) represents a rare head injury complication in infants. Its diagnosis can be quite challenging because its clinical presentation is usually subtle and nonspecific. In our current communication, we present our data regarding the presentation of infants with EDH, their management, and their long-term outcome.

Materials and methods: In a retrospective study, the hospital and outpatient clinic charts and imaging studies (head CT and skull X-rays) of 31 infants with pure, supratentorial EDH of traumatic origin were meticulously reviewed. Children Coma Scale score and Trauma Infant Neurologic Score (TINS) were also reviewed. The most common presenting symptom was irritability, which occurred in 18/31 (58.1%) of our patients. Pallor (in 30/31 patients) and cephalhematoma (in 21/31 patients) were the most commonly occurring clinical signs upon admission; both signs represent signs of significant clinical importance. Surgical evacuation via a craniotomy was required in 24/31 of our patients, while 7/31 patients were managed conservatively. The mortality rate in our series was 6.5% (2/31 patients), and our long-term morbidity rate was 3.2% (1/31 patients).

Conclusions: EDH in infants represents a life-threatening complication of head injury, which requires early identification and prompt surgical or conservative management depending on the patient's clinical condition, size of EDH, and presence of midline structure shift on head CT scan. Mortality and long-term morbidity are low with early diagnosis and prompt treatment.

MeSH terms

  • Accidental Falls
  • Cerebellum / blood supply
  • Decompression, Surgical / methods*
  • Dura Mater / blood supply
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Head Injuries, Closed / complications*
  • Head Injuries, Closed / diagnostic imaging
  • Head Injuries, Closed / therapy
  • Hematoma, Epidural, Cranial / diagnostic imaging*
  • Hematoma, Epidural, Cranial / etiology
  • Hematoma, Epidural, Cranial / therapy
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Radiography
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Skull Fractures / complications*
  • Skull Fractures / diagnostic imaging
  • Trauma Severity Indices