Last reviewed: 4 Jul 2021
Last updated: 11 Mar 2020

Summary

Definition

History and exam

Key diagnostic factors

  • presence of risk factors
  • evidence of trauma
  • headache
  • nausea/vomiting
  • diminished eye response
  • diminished verbal response
  • diminished motor response
  • confusion

Other diagnostic factors

  • loss of consciousness/decreased alertness
  • seizure
  • loss of bowel and bladder continence
  • localised weakness
  • sensory changes
  • cognition changes
  • speech or vision changes
  • otorrhoea
  • rhinorrhoea

Risk factors

  • recent trauma
  • coagulopathy and anticoagulant use
  • advanced age (>65 years)

Diagnostic investigations

Treatment algorithm

Contributors

Authors

Andrew W. Grande, MD

Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery

University of Minnesota

Minneapolis

MN

Disclosures

AWG declares that he has no competing interests.

Acknowledgements

Dr Andrew W. Grande would like to gratefully acknowledge Dr Stephen J. Haines, Dr Praveen R. Baimeedi, Dr Jason S. Hauptma, and Dr Neil A. Martin, previous contributors to this topic. SJH, PRB, JSH, and NAM declare that they have no competing interests.

Peer reviewers

Nathan J. Ranalli, MD

Resident

Department of Neurosurgery

University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

Philadelphia

PA

Disclosures

NJR declares that he has no competing interests.

Marek Ma, MD

Instructor

Emergency Medicine

Department of Emergency Medicine Administrative Offices

University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia

PA

Disclosures

MM declares that he has no competing interests.

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