Wolf in sheep's clothing: Acute chloroma disguised as a subdural hematoma

G. M. Mallory, J. J. Van Gompel, A. A. Rabinstein, J. E. Fugate, G. Lanzino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background Subdural hematomas are not infrequent among patients with hematologic disorders as they are prone to thrombocytopenia from their disease and chemotherapy. However, rarely these patients can also have leukemic involvement of the subdural space. Methods Case Report with CT scan and intraoperative photographs. Results A 45-year-old woman with acute myeloid leukemia presented with progressive headache, somnolence, and hemiparesis. She was noted to be thrombocytopenic. CT scan revealed a heterodense extra-axial lesion consistent with an acute to subacute subdural hematoma. There was no antecedent trauma. After platelet transfusion, she was taken for burr hole evacuation and an opalescent pearly white mass was encountered. Pathology revealed myeloid sarcoma. Conclusions Myeloid sarcoma can mimic subdural hematoma both clinically and radiologically. It hould be considered when a patient with a prior leukemia and no antecedent trauma presents with an extra-axial lesion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)148-150
Number of pages3
JournalNeurocritical care
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2012


  • Chloroma
  • Myeloid sarcoma
  • Subdural hematoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology


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