Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan

Cortical Contusion

  • Beth RushEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_229


Bruise; Contusion (cerebral)


Cortical contusions are bruises on the brain tissue that form from the small blood vessel leaks (veins and arteries covering the parenchymal tissue) or a series of microhemorrhages following trauma. Trauma is usually the result of physical blows to the head such as those sustained in a motor vehicle accident, direct blow to the head from assault, or significant sports-related injuries. Veins and arteries on the surface of the brain are damaged, which results in bleeding and bruising. When the blood vessel is torn, blood escapes from the vessel at a rate that is faster than the blood that can be absorbed by the brain. Consequently, cortical contusions commonly result in edema and increased intracranial pressure.

Current Knowledge

Second to diffuse axonal injury, cortical contusion is the most common type of intra-axial lesion following brain trauma. By radiologic definition, a cortical contusion must involve some portion of the...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References and Readings

  1. Bigler, E. D. (2001). The lesions in traumatic brain injury: Implications for clinical neurophysiology. Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology, 16, 95–131.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Graham, D. I., Saatman, K. E., Marklund, N., Conte, V., Morales, D., Royo, N., & McIntosh, T. K. (2006). The neuropathology of trauma. In R. W. Evans (Ed.), Neurology and trauma (2nd ed., pp. 45–94). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Psychiatry and PsychologyMayo ClinicJacksonvilleUSA