Epidural Hematoma (EDH)

What is an Epidural Hematoma?

Illustration showing blood vessels along the dura.

The covering of the brain is called the dura. There are blood vessels on and within the dura. These blood vessels can be lacerated with trauma such as from a skull fracture.

Illustration showing an EDH.

The bleeding causes a blood clot between the dura and the skull.

Illustration showing an EDH, labeled.

Since the hemorrhage is on the outside of the dura, it is called an epidural hematoma.

How does an epidural hematoma form?

left temporal linear skull fracture

A patient will get a traumatic skull fracture, usually of the temporal bone. This lacerates the middle meningeal artery along the dura.

This animation summarizes the process. Bleeding occurs from the skull fracture lacerating a vessel and an epidural hematoma is formed. After the injury, a patient may initially be fine, have a lucid period, then rapidly deteriorate into coma.