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.
From the *Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine, Southbank; †Department of Forensic Medicine, Monash University, Melbourne; ‡Department of Anatomical Pathology, St Vincent's Hospital, Fitzroy; and §Department of Pathology, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
Manuscript received February 27, 2007; accepted May 13, 2007.
Reprints: Michael Philip Burke, MB, BS, BSc, FRCPA, Dip Forens Path, Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine, 57-83 Kavanagh St, Southbank, Victoria, Australia 3066; and Department of Forensic Medicine, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. E-mail: email@example.com.