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May 28, 1932


Author Affiliations


From the Department of Surgery, University of Michigan Medical School.

JAMA. 1932;98(22):1851-1856. doi:10.1001/jama.1932.02730480001001

In the past three years there have been admitted to the University Hospital nine infants with subdural hematoma. Since these cases are usually diagnosed as idiopathic hydrocephalus, we are reporting this series to stress the ease of differential diagnosis. The importance of making this distinction lies in the fact that idiopathic hydrocephalus is hopeless, while subdural hematoma is amenable to surgical treatment. There is no doubt that we, as well as others, must have frequently overlooked the condition.

SYMPTOMATOLOGY  The symptom first noted is a gradual enlargement of the head, usually associated with convulsions. This is seldom observed before the age of 4 months. Though the shape of the head resembles that of hydrocephalus, the expression of the face is different. This, we feel, is a most important point. Instead of a dull, apathetic face, one sees a bright, alert expression, even though the eyeballs are displaced downward. In the