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Cephalohaematomas are traumatic subperiosteal haematomas that are usually caused by birth injury. They are bound by the periosteum and, therefore, cannot cross sutures. Being bound by a suture line distinguishes them from subgaleal haematoma, which can cross sutures.


Cephalohematomas occur in 1-2% of live births. The incidence increases with ventouse and forceps extraction and thus more common in primiparous mothers. There may be a greater male predilection 4.

Radiographic features

Cephalohaematomas are clinically diagnosed and infrequently imaged. They can be unilateral or bilateral, and appear as subgaleal fluid collections bounded by suture lines. Over time, they may become peripherally calcified.

Treatment and prognosis

Most resolve spontaneously. Cephalohaematomas usually gradually incorporate into the calvaria by ossification.

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See also

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