Coup-contrecoup injury

A coup-contrecoup injury is a term applied to head injuries and most often cerebral contusions. It refers to the common pattern of injury whereby damage is located both at the site of impact (often less marked) and on the opposite side of the head to the point of maximum external trauma.

The impact accelerates first the skull (at this point the brain immediately subjacent to the point of impact may be damaged - so called coup injury) and then its content away from it. As the skull stops the brain then impacts on the internal surface of the skull resulting in damage.

Areas most frequently affected are the inferior surface of the frontal lobes and temporal poles 3. An unusual form of contrecoup injury is traumatic lens dislocation 1

The term is also less widely used to denote a pattern of injury in the knee: see contrecoup injury of the knee 2.

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Article information

rID: 13524
Section: Gamuts
Tag: trauma
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Contrecoup brain injury complex
  • Contrecoup injury
  • Contrecoup phenomenon
  • Coup-contrecoup phenomenon
  • Coup-contrecoup injury
  • Coup-contrecoup brain injury complex

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