CT Evolution of Hematoma and Surrounding Hypodensity in a Cadaveric Model of Intracerebral Hemorrhage

J Neuroimaging. 2016 May;26(3):346-50. doi: 10.1111/jon.12306. Epub 2015 Oct 13.


Background: The evolution of intracerebral hematoma and perihematoma edema in the ultra-early period on computed tomographic (CT) scans in patients with intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) is not well understood. We aimed to investigate hematoma and perihematoma changes in "neutral brain" models of ICH.

Methods: One human and five goat cadaveric heads were used as "neutral brains" to provide physical properties of brain without any biological activity or new bleeding. ICH was induced by slow injection of 4 ml of fresh human blood into the right basal ganglia of the goat brains. Similarly, 20 ml of fresh blood was injected deep into the white matter of the human cadaver head in each hemisphere. Serial CT scans of the heads were obtained immediately after hematoma induction and then 1, 3, and 5 hours afterward. Analyze software (AnalyzeDirect, Overland Park, KS, USA) was used to measure hematoma and perihematoma hypodensity volumes in the baseline and follow-up CT scans.

Results: The initial hematoma volumes of 11.6 ml and 10.5 ml in the right and left hemispheres of the cadaver brains gradually decreased to 6.6 ml and 5.4 ml at 5 hours, showing 43% and 48% retraction of hematoma, respectively. The volume of the perihematoma hypodensity in the right and left hemisphere increased from 2.6 ml and 2.2 ml in the 1-hour follow-up CT scans to 4.9 ml and 4.4 ml in the 5-hour CT scan, respectively. Hematoma retraction was also observed in all five goat brains ICH models with the mean ICH volume decreasing from 1.49 ml at baseline scan to 1.01 ml at the 5-hour follow-up CT scan (29.6% hematoma retraction). Perihematoma hypodensity was visualized in 70% of ICH in goat brains, with an increasing mean hypodensity volume of 0.4 ml in the baseline CT scan to 0.8 ml in the 5-hour follow-up CT scan.

Conclusion: Our study demonstrated that substantial hematoma retraction and perihematoma hypodensity occurs in ICH in the absence of any new bleeding or biological activity of surrounding brain. Such observations suggest that active bleeding is underestimated in patients with no or small hematoma expansion and our understanding of perihematoma hypodensity needs to be reconsidered.

Keywords: Intracerebral hemorrhage; hematoma expansion; hematoma retraction; perihematoma edema.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Animals
  • Blood Volume / physiology
  • Brain Edema / diagnostic imaging*
  • Brain Edema / pathology
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Goats
  • Hematoma / diagnostic imaging*
  • Hematoma / pathology
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Hemorrhages / diagnostic imaging*
  • Intracranial Hemorrhages / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Neurological*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods*