Institutional members access full text with Ovid®

Share this article on:

Spontaneous Spinal Subdural Hematoma

de Beer, Marlijn H. MD; Eysink Smeets, Marjolein M. MD; Koppen, Hille MD

doi: 10.1097/NRL.0000000000000100
Case Report/Case Series

Objective: Spinal subdural hematomas (SSDHs) are rare. Causes are (1) posttraumatic, (2) iatrogenic (following surgery or lumbar puncture), (3) spontaneous including underlying malformations or coagulation deficits. With a systematic review of literature we want to shed light on the last group: symptomatology, etiology, treatment and outcome will we discussed.

Methods: Systematic review of literature on PubMed for cases of acute nontraumatic noniatrogenic SSDHs in adults (≥18 y of age). A total of 122 cases were reviewed including 2 cases from our hospital.

Results: There was a slight preponderance of female patients with spontaneous SSDHs and the mean age was 60 years. Spontaneous SSDHs were mostly located in the thoracic region (40%). Motor symptoms were most frequent (89%), followed by pain. Sensory deficits were present in 64%, of which 81% had a sensory level. In 6% radiculating pain, without any focal neurological deficits, was the presenting symptom. SSDHs were mainly caused by a coagulopathy (48%), predominantly due to the use of coumarins (34%). Other causes were underlying (vascular) malformations and vasculitis. Forty-three percent the SSDHs was idiopathic. 72% of patients underwent a decompressive laminectomy. 59% had a favorable outcome and 34% had a poor outcome.

Conclusions: Spontaneous SSDHs were predominantly located in the thoracic spine, presenting with paraparesis/paraplegia, sensory level and pain. Over 40% was caused by a coagulation defect, most frequently due to coumarins. Six percent of patients presented with radiculating pain without any focal neurological deficits.

Supplemental Digital Content is available in the text.

Department of Neurology, Haga Teaching Hospital, The Hague, The Netherlands

M.H.d.B. and M.M.E.S.: shared first authorship and contributed equally.

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Reprints: Marlijn H. de Beer, MD, Department of Neurology, Haga Teaching Hospital, Leyweg 275, 2545 CH, The Hague, The Netherlands. E-mail:

Copyright © 2017 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.