[Acute subdural hematoma caused by professional boxing]

No Shinkei Geka. 1996 Oct;24(10):905-11.
[Article in Japanese]


Knockout in boxing entails deliberate production of the state of unconsciousness. Acute subdural hematoma which is the most common acute brain injury in boxing, accounts for 75% of all acute brain injuries and is the leading cause of boxing fatalities. The aim of this study is to evaluate acute subdural hematoma caused by professional boxing by analyzing the content of bouts, the level of consciousness on admission, CT scan, therapy and outcome 3 months after admission. Fifteen boxers who had suffered from acute subdural hematoma were classified into three groups according to the pattern of loss of consciousness. Transient unconsciousness type (Transient type): boxers who had returned to alertness within an hour from the time of injury. Lucid interval type: neurological deterioration appeared with a lucid interval from ten minutes to an hour after knockout. Deterioration of consciousness type (Deterioration type): A state of unconsciousness appeared and worsened from a few minutes after knockout. Analyzing the number of rounds in bouts indicated that the hematoma occurred most frequently in bouts of 10 rounds. All of our subjects presented subdural hematomas without cerebral contusions on CT scan. With regard to the location of the hematomas, 9 hematomas involved the left side, 3 the right, 2 the suboccipit and 1 the interhemisphere. Transient type was found in 7 patients who had GCS scores of 14, 15 on admission. Since CT scan revealed thin subdural hematoma with or without mild midline shift, conservative therapy was carried out in all patients. All patients had a good recovery. Five patients of lucid interval type with an admission GCS score of 4, 6 and 7 demonstrated thicker hematoma compared to that presented by the transient type with significant midline shift on CT scan. All patients required surgery. Outcome of this type was good recovery (n = 2), moderate disability (n = 1), persistent vegetative state (n = 1), death (n = 1). Three patients of deterioration type had GCS scores of 5, 6. Because of subdural hematoma with remarkable midline shift on CT scan, all patients underwent surgery. Outcome was good recovery (n = 1), moderate disability (n = 1), persistent vegetative state (n = 1). Overall outcome was good recovery 66.7%, moderate disability 13.3%, persistent vegetative state 13.3%, death 6.7%. Furthermore, 8 patients who underwent surgery with a GCS score of less than 8 exhibited good recovery 37.5%, moderate disability 25%, persistent vegetative state 25%, death 12.5%. CT scan of lucid interval and deterioration type showed a tendency to show thick subdural hematoma and remarkable midline shift compared to transient type. Outcomes of lucid interval and deterioration type were worse than those of transient type. This result suggests that the influence of repeated head injury and diffuse brain injury might make a difference between these groups. Repeated head injury means that further impacts repeatedly damaged the injured brain after bleeding in the bouts. Overall outcome was better than that published in previous reports and also than that observed in other head injuries, for example, traffic accident and fall. The reasons for this could be that the patients were younger, that there was immediate surgical treatment, and that brain injury without cerebral contusion had contributed to better outcome. Finally, the best medical management intervention seems to be to diagnose and treat the lesions as early as possible after occurrence of subdural hematoma.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adult
  • Boxing / injuries*
  • Brain Concussion / complications
  • Brain Concussion / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain Injuries / complications*
  • Brain Injuries / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain Injuries / surgery
  • Hematoma, Subdural / diagnostic imaging
  • Hematoma, Subdural / etiology*
  • Hematoma, Subdural / surgery
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed