Scalp hematoma

Last revised by Dr Kieran Kusel on 02 Mar 2021

A scalp hematoma (plural: hematomas or hematomata) commonly occurs either following a perinatal injury at delivery or as part of head trauma.

Classification

There are three types of hematoma, which are defined by their location within the scalp, in particular their location as related to the galea aponeurosis and skull periosteum (this mnemonic is helpful when remembering the layers of the scalp). From superficial to deep, the three types are:

  • caput succedaneum: subcutaneous hematoma superficial to the galea aponeurosis, most commonly secondary to vacuum-assisted delivery
  • subgaleal hematoma: hematoma within the potential space between the galea aponeurosis and the skull periosteum
  • cephalohematoma: subperiosteal and therefore bound by the suture line

ADVERTISEMENT: Supporters see fewer/no ads

Cases and figures

  • Figure 1: layers of the skull
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Figure 2: scalp layers diagram
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Figure 3: caput succedaneum
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Case 1: caput succedaneum
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Figure 4: subgaleal hematoma
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Case 2: subgaleal hematoma
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Figure 5: cephalohematoma
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Case 3: cephalohematoma
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Case 4: ossified cephalohematoma
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Updating… Please wait.

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

     Thank you for updating your details.