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Chronic/Subacute Subdural Hematoma

Last Updated: October 1, 2018

Drainage of Subacute SDH via Burr Holes

Subacute subdural hematoma (sSDH) and chronic subdural hematoma (cSDH) are similar to acute subdural hematoma (aSDH) in that the accumulation of blood occurs in the same potential space. However, the timing of presentation, cause of hematoma, and surgical treatment options differ.

By definition, aSDH presents within 72 hours of the initial trauma, whereas sSDH presents within 4 to 14 days after head trauma, and cSDH presents 14 days or more after trauma. This time delay present in subacute and chronic SDHs causes the hematoma to become more liquid, allowing for different surgical techniques.


Although aSDH is typically the result of forceful trauma, a patient presenting with cSDH may report a variety of trauma histories. The trauma...