Delayed Development of Spinal Subdural Hematoma Following Cranial Trauma: A Case Report and Review of the Literature.World Neurosurg. 2020 09; 141:44-51.WN
Spinal subdural hematomas (SDHs) have been reported secondary to direct trauma or iatrogenic causes associated with coagulopathies. Spinal SDHs found after the development of acute intracranial SDHs, without any evidence of trauma to the spine, are extremely rare. In addition to this rare presentation, there is a lack of consensus regarding whether surgical decompression is the ideal treatment strategy. Depending on the extent of SDH within the spinal canal, surgical decompression may be difficult where diffuse hematoma within the intradural space requires multilevel decompression for treatment.
A 46-year-old man initially presented with an acute cranial SDH following isolated head trauma. After a period of full recovery, he developed delayed lower extremity paraparesis secondary to the formation of a thoracolumbar SDH. This hematoma coincided with resolution of the cranial SDH and likely was due to redistribution of blood from the cranial subdural space into the spinal canal. Given the diffuse multilevel nature of the spread of hematoma and lack of a focal area of compression, he was managed conservatively. He demonstrated small signs of neurologic improvement over several days and regained considerable strength over the following several weeks.
This report demonstrates a very rare occurrence of a traumatic intracranial SDH migrating into the thoracic and lumbar spine. This case also highlights that despite acute neurologic deficits, conservative management may be a feasible strategy that can result in recovery of neurologic function.