Haematomas are the name given to localised collections of blood and they can form virtually anywhere in the body. They often form secondary to trauma or surgery but spontaneous formation is also not uncommon, especially in those with coagulation disorders or on anticoagulant therapy.

Haematomas may be hyperacute to chronic in duration and therefore their internal contents will vary from fresh haemorrhage to chronic haemoglobin degradation products (e.g. haemosiderin and ferritin) and are often a mixture of different aged components. The physical consistency of the collection may also vary from a hyperacute purely liquid collection to a chronic solidified mass-like state, but often a mixed cystic-solid state.  

Haematomas are usually sterile when first formed and the majority remain uninfected. However, superinfection is seen forming a haemorrhagic abscess and is one of the well-recognised complications of draining a haematoma.

Specific haematomas

History and etymology

Haematoma ultimately derives from Ancient Greek roots. "Haemato-" is from the Ancient Greek "αιμα" (haima) meaning blood. The suffix "-oma" is ultimately from the Ancient Greek word "ωμα" (oma), meaning process/action, but as a suffix is used in pathology to indicate a mass, both benign and malignant.

Share article

Article information

rID: 61879
System: Vascular, Trauma
Section: Pathology
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Hematomata
  • Haematomata
  • Hematomas
  • Haematomas
  • Hematoma

Support Radiopaedia and see fewer ads

Updating… Please wait.

Alert accept

Error Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

Alert accept Thank you for updating your details.