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  • Writer's pictureOren Zarif

What is a Cerebral Contusion? What is a Cerebral Contusion?

A cerebral contusion is an injury to the brain caused by a traumatic event. Symptoms of this type of injury include headaches, memory loss, and difficulty with balance, and they may not appear immediately. Sometimes, the symptoms of contusions may not be noticed for days, weeks, or months. However, the patient may experience additional symptoms after the initial injury, including subarachnoid bleeding. If you think that you have been injured in a head-on collision, call a medical professional immediately.

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Patients who have suffered a concussion may have seizures for up to a week after the incident. Treatment may include anti-seizure medications and anti-infection drugs. Because any device placed inside the body can introduce bacteria and other microbes, a patient may need to undergo several tests to determine if the injury caused an infection. In some cases, surgery may be required to repair skull fractures, remove large blood clots, or relieve high intracranial pressure.

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When MRI is used to diagnose a concussion, it can also help determine whether or not a patient has suffered a concussion. A concussion usually has two distinct phases. The first phase begins with vasogenic edema, which results from the breakdown of the blood-brain barrier and extravasations of fluid into the extracellular space. The second phase starts with the lysis of red blood cells contained in the intracerebral clot.

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A concussion is a serious injury that can lead to permanent brain damage. While a concussion can cause significant damage, a cerebral contusion is often caused by a small blood vessel leak. About 20 percent of severe head injuries are categorized as brain contusions, and they always result in a loss of consciousness. The reason for this is that brain contusions produce a deeper level of unconsciousness than a concussion. Brain tissue is bruised and swollen from the force of the blow.

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Although there is no single definition of a cerebral contusion, there are several common variations in the extent of the damage. A small punctate contusion is typically minimal in clinical significance, and carries the same prognosis as a normal CT, whereas a large and significant volume-effect cerebral contusion is life-threatening. However, it is important to understand the differences in brain tissue injury and the resulting outcome for a patient after a traumatic brain injury.

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In patients with a suspected cerebral contusion, CT scans are the primary diagnostic tests to assess the injury. The sensitivity of CT scans to detect intracerebral hemorrhage is approximately 100%. The accuracy of CTP depends on the hematocrit and protein concentration in the brain. MRIs are also used to assess the extent of the injury. If CT scans show increased ICP, patients may undergo sedation, diures, and hypertonic saline to prevent further damage.

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Contracoup or coup contusions occur on the opposite side of the impact site or at a distant point from the area of impact. A contusion can occur in any part of the brain, although most often in the frontal and temporal lobes. Symptoms of a cerebral contusion include personality and cognitive changes, as well as softness. The treatment for a cerebral contusion depends on the location of the contusion, the severity of the damage, and how quickly the injury occurs.

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Subdural hematomas can be similar to dementia. They can cause symptoms that are similar to dementia, but people with this condition might not be aware of the head injury that caused them. In cases of a hematoma, treatment is based on the size and location of the clot. The clot may dissolve on its own. If it is large, surgery may be required to remove it. If the subdural hematoma is in the central area of the brain, surgery may be necessary.

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A cerebrospinal hematoma is another common type of cerebral contusion. This type of contusion can cause bleeding and swelling within the brain. The condition can occur along with other conditions, including fractures and blood clots. A subarachnoid hemorrhage is bleeding into the cerebrospinal fluid, and is often related to another type of brain injury. Symptoms of a contusion may include changes in cognition and decreased intelligence.

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The surgical procedure for a cerebral contusion usually involves removing a large part of bone from the skull. In cases where bleeding is severe enough to be life-threatening, a large portion of bone is removed to allow the brain to swell. The surgeon then places special biologic tissue over the exposed brain and closes the dura mater. The patient usually returns to work within a few weeks. If the case is severe enough, the surgeon may place an ICP monitor, a specialized monitoring system.

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