High altitude induced bilateral non-traumatic subdural hematoma.
Ganau L., Prisco L., Ganau M.
BACKGROUND: Minor clinical complaints such as headache and drowsiness after a disco party with alcohol abuse may be an unlikely cause for neurological consultation, but, rarely, they may hide a challenging diagnosis. CASE REPORT: A young male patient admitted to our Neurosurgical Department for progressive headache showed a sudden clinical deterioration of consciousness; head CT scan was promptly obtained and thick bilateral subdural hematomas requiring urgent craniotomies and drainage were detected. While his anamnesis was surprisingly negative for head trauma, coagulopathies, or other common causes of subdural hematoma, he reported a curious history of 10-d onset of symptoms after a farewell disco party on a high-altitude location, almost 9000 ft (>2700 m) above mean sea level, followed by an intercontinental flight back to his seaside hometown. Following surgery the patient eventually experienced a rapid recovery from this frightening experience. DISCUSSION: Due to its uniqueness, the case is reported and the influence of possible provoking causes relevant in the pathogenesis of subdural hematomas is carefully outlined.