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About Cerebral Contusions and Intracerebral Hematomas
- Cerebral contusions are scattered areas of bleeding on the surface of the brain, most commonly along the undersurface and poles of the frontal and temporal lobes.
- They occur when the brain strikes a ridge on the skull or a fold in the dura mater, the brain’s tough outer covering.
- These bruises may occur without other types of bleeding or they may occur with acute subdural or epidural hematomas.
- Most patients with cerebral contusions have had a serious head injury with a loss of consciousness.
- Cerebral edema, or swelling, typically develops around contusions within 48 to 72 hours after injury.
- As with other types of intracranial hemorrhages, cerebral contusions are most rapidly and accurately diagnosed using computed tomography (CT) brain scans.
- If pressure on the brain increases significantly or if the hemorrhage forms a sizeable blood clot in the brain (an intracerebral hematoma), a craniotomy to open a section of the skull may be required to surgically remove the cerebral contusion.
- Recovery after brain injury varies widely.
- Treatment outcomes vary according to size and location of the cerebral contusion. Other predictors include age, the initial Glasgow Coma Scale score, and the presence of other types of brain injuries.
The Neuro-ICU cares for patients with all types of neurosurgical and neurological injuries, including stroke, brain hemorrhage, trauma and tumors. We work in close cooperation with your surgeon or medical doctor with whom you have had initial contact. Together with the surgeon or medical doctor, the Neuro-ICU attending physician and team members direct your family member's care while in the ICU. The Neuro-ICU team consists of the bedside nurses, nurse practitioners, physicians in specialty training (Fellows) and attending physicians. UCLA Neuro ICU Family Guide