Subdural empyema: CT findings

R D Zimmerman, N E Leeds, A Danziger
Radiology 1984, 150 (2): 417-22
CT scans in 49 patients with surgically proven subdural empyema were evaluated. The empyemas were crescentic or lentiform extra-axial hypodense collections (density approximating that of cerebrospinal fluid) with prominent, sharply etched medial rim enhancement. Enhancement of the adjacent cerebral cortex was identified in many cases. Mass effect was always present and in 10 cases so extensive that it overshadowed a small extra-axial collection. CT allowed for precise localization of the lesion, including contiguous or isolated involvement of the interhemispheric subdural space. Mortality was 12% (6/49 cases), a marked improvement when compared with mortality figures obtained prior to the advent of CT (40%). CT findings indicative of involvement of the adjacent parenchyma via retrograde thrombophlebitis with resultant infarction and/or abscess formation were associated with poor prognosis. Improvement in prognosis since the advent of CT is the direct result of early accurate diagnosis and timely intervention.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


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

Related 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"

We want to hear from doctors like you!

Take a second to answer a survey question.