Cerebral Contusion

What is a Cerebral Contusion?

Image of a left frontal cerebral contusion.

The image shows the brain with tiny hemorrhages in the left frontal lobe. A cerebral contusion is like a bruise on your brain. Just as you get a "black and blue" mark on your arm from some trauma, you can bruise your brain. In the brain a contusion consists of a mosaic of "good brain" mixed with "bad brain" or "normal brain" mixed with "injured brain". Many times contusions cause the surrounding brain to swell resulting in severe consequences. These hemorrhages are usually small initially (petechial hemorrhages). These small hemorrhages may all coalesce and evolve into a distinct, larger blood clot associated with significant cerebral edema (brain swelling).

How does a cerebral contusion form?

Sharp areas of the skull-brain interface labeled

Contusions form when the brain hits relatively sharp areas of the skull. These include the parts of the skull along the tips of the frontal lobes, occipital lobes and the temporal tips.