Retroclival hematomas are rare, appearing mostly as posttraumatic phenomena in children. Spontaneous retroclival hematoma (SRH) in the absence of trauma also has few descriptions in the literature. None of the reported clinical cases features the combination of an SRH and intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH). Nevertheless, despite extensive cases of idiopathic or angiographically negative subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) of the posterior fossa, only a single case report of a patient with a unique spontaneous retroclival hematoma has been identified. In this study, the authors reviewed the presentation, management, and clinical outcome of this rare entity.
The authors performed a retrospective analysis of all patients with diagnosed SRH at their institution over a 3-year period. Collected data included clinical history, laboratory results, treatment, and review of all imaging studies performed.
Four patients had SRH. All were appropriately evaluated for coagulopathic and/or traumatic etiologies of hemorrhage, though no etiology could be found. Moreover, all of the patients demonstrated SRH that both clearly crossed the basioccipital synchondrosis and was contained within a nondependent configuration along the retroclival dura mater.
Spontaneous retroclival hematoma, often associated with IVH, is a rare subtype of intracranial hemorrhage frequently recognized only when MRI demonstrates compartmentalization of the posterior fossa hemorrhage. When angiography fails to reveal an underlying lesion, SRH patients, like patients with traditional angiographically negative SAH, enjoy a remarkably good prognosis.