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Paediatric chronic subdural haematoma: what are the predisposing factors and outcomes in management of these cases?

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Chronic subdural hematoma (cSDH) is a disease of the elderly population. Incidence in paediatric population is relatively uncommon. Child abuse, birth trauma, coagulopathy and shunt surgeries represent major causes. Major impact of the disease on life of patient due to recurrence and repeat surgical procedure is significant, not to mention the burden on health care system.

Material and methods

We retrospectively reviewed our institute data for chronic sub-dural cases for the past 10 years (2008–2018) and collected data on the demography, clinical features, metabolic workup, mode of treatment, recurrence rates, predisposing factors, laterality, hematoma characteristics and factors associated with recurrence in all cases with less than or equal to 18 years of age.


A total of 30 such cases were found in a period of 10 years (2008–2018). The mean patient age was 7.3 years (range 2 months–17 years), with 20 males (66.67%) and 10 females (33.33%). Raised intracranial pressure (n = 9) was the commonest presenting symptom in 30% of cases followed by seizures in 26.67% (n = 8). The previous shunt was the commonest predisposing factor seen in 43.33% (n = 13). cSDHs were unilateral in 56.67% cases (n = 17) and bilateral in 43.33% (n = 13). Burr hole craniostomy was done in 27 cases (90%), and conservative management was done in three cases (10%). Follow up was available for 27 cases (90%) with a mean follow up duration of 24 months. Recurrence rate was 30% (n = 9). Shunt surgery contributed to 77% of bilateral disease (p = 0.009). Child abuse was not reported in our series.


Presence of paediatric cSDH is alarming, and the physician should be alerted to look for underlying cause and rule out child abuse. Detailed metabolic, skeletal workup is required. Treatment of primary pathology should be the goal as CSF diversion is not the solution to all problems, but can definitely be the cause of all the problems.

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Authors and Affiliations



HD, AJ: collection of data and writing of manuscript; HD, RG: concept and idea and critical revisions; DS: study supervision and critical revisions; VV: supervision and critical revisions; SK: supervision and critical revisions; ARP: supervision and critical revisions; AS: supervision and critical revision.

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Correspondence to Srinivas Dwarakanath.

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Study design is retrospective; hence, approval of ethical committee was not sought.

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Deora, H., Mishra, A., Gupta, R. et al. Paediatric chronic subdural haematoma: what are the predisposing factors and outcomes in management of these cases?. Childs Nerv Syst 38, 123–132 (2022).

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