Spontaneous spinal epidural hematoma: The importance of preoperative neurological status and rapid intervention

Gustavo Rajz, José E. Cohen, Sagi Harnof, Nachshon Knoller, Oded Goren, Yigal Shoshan, Shifra Fraifeld, Leon Kaplan, Eyal Itshayek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We describe the presentation, management, and outcome of spontaneous spinal epidural hematoma (SSEH) in two tertiary academic centers. We retrospectively reviewed clinical and imaging files in patients diagnosed with SSEH from 2002-2011. Neurologic status was assessed using the American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) Impairment Scale (AIS). A total of 17 patients (10 females; mean age 54 years, range 10-89) were included. Among patients presenting with AIS A, 5/8 showed no improvement and 3/8 reached AIS C. Among those presenting with AIS C, 5/6 reached AIS E and 1/6 reached AIS D. Of those presenting with AIS D, 3/3 reached AIS E. Mean time-to-surgery (TTS) was 28 hours (range 3-96). TTS surgery in two patients remaining at AIS A was ≤12 hours; in 4/8 patients recovering to AIS E it was >12 hours, including three patients operated on after >24 hours. In patients remaining at AIS A, a mean of 4.4 levels were treated compared with means of 3.7 and 3.5 in those with AIS C and E, respectively, at late follow-up. In this series, preoperative neurological status had greater impact on late outcome than time from symptom onset to surgery in patients with SSEH.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-128
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Neuroscience
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Acute paraplegia
  • Decompressive laminectomy
  • Epidural hematoma
  • Spontaneous spinal epidural hematoma


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