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American Journal of Forensic Medicine & Pathology:
doi: 10.1097/PAF.0b013e3181fc354b
Case Reports

Spontaneous Acute Subdural Hematoma Complicating Arachnoid Cyst

Burke, Michael Philip MB, BS, BSc, FRCPA, Dip Forens Path*†; O'Donnell, Chris MB, BS, FRANZCR, MMed*†; Opeskin, Kenneth MD, FRCPA, MBBS‡§

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The overwhelming majority of cases of acute subdural hematoma in the forensic setting occur as a result of head trauma. We report a case of sudden unexpected death in a middle-aged woman with a history of arachnoid cyst who had sudden spontaneous onset of severe headache that was rapidly followed by collapse and death. A postmortem multiple-slice computed tomographic scan showed a large acute subdural hematoma associated with hemorrhage into an arachnoid cyst. Subdural hemorrhage is an uncommon but well-described complication of an arachnoid cyst.

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.


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