Retroclival hematoma

Last revised by Sonam Vadera on 11 Aug 2021

A retroclival hematoma is a collection of blood located along the dorsum sellae and clivus which may reach the dens. It has been classified into either an epidural or subdural retroclival hematoma depending on the anatomical location of the blood accumulation. 

It is an uncommon finding and few cases have been reported 2.

Symptoms are those of brainstem compression and patients may present with:

  • headache
  • depressed conscious state
  • seizures
  • cranial nerve palsies
  • cardiac arrest

It is frequently reported in the setting of trauma, but other causes exist 4:

Significant compression of the brainstem requires surgical evacuation. Otherwise, the treatment depends on etiology, and conservative management gives good results since most patients recover with minimal long-term neurological complications.

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Cases and figures

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