Spinal Hematomas: What a Radiologist Needs to Know

Jennifer L Pierce, Joseph H Donahue, Nicholas C Nacey, Cody R Quirk, Michael T Perry, Nicholas Faulconer, Gene A Falkowski, Michael D Maldonado, Catherine A Shaeffer, Francis H Shen
Radiographics: a Review Publication of the Radiological Society of North America, Inc 2018, 38 (5): 1516-1535
Spinal hematomas are a frequent indication for radiologic evaluation and can be a diagnostic dilemma for many radiologists and surgeons. There are four types of spinal hematomas: epidural, subdural, subarachnoid, and intramedullary (spinal cord) hematomas. Because they differ by their location in relationship to the meningeal membranes and spinal cord, unique radiologic appearances can be recognized to distinguish these types of spinal hemorrhage. Anatomic knowledge of the spinal compartments is essential to the radiologist for confident imaging diagnosis of spinal hematomas and to specify correct locations. MRI is the modality of choice to diagnose the location of the hematoma, characterize important features such as age of the hemorrhage, and detect associated injury or disease. Each type of spinal hematoma has imaging patterns and characteristics that distinguish it from the others, as these specific spinal compartments displace and affect the adjacent anatomic structures. Early detection and accurate localization of spinal hematomas is critical for the surgeon to address the proper treatment and surgical decompression, when necessary, as neurologic deficits may otherwise become permanent. Online supplemental material is available for this article. © RSNA, 2018.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Trending Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"