In this pathology mini bite series this time our topic is What Type Of Skull Fracture Can Result In Raccoon Eyes and we try to learn about it in a few paragraphs. These mini pathology bites are inspired by Kristine Krafts, MD.
What Type Of Skull Fracture Can Result In Raccoon Eyes
Our current system is CNS – and so far we’ve covered introductory stuff (e.g., how do brain cells respond to injury), increased intracranial pressure, and congenital/developmental abnormalities. Now we’re moving on to CNS trauma, starting with skull fractures.
There are four main types of skull fractures, and you should know a few key things about each one (nicely summarized here).
1. Linear fracture
- most common
- straight crack
- usually not serious
- crosses one or more sutures
- sutures widen in response to the fracture
- usually occur in children
- bone displaced inward
- comminuted (bone broken in many pieces)
- may damage the underlying brain
- Least common
- May see CSF drainage from the nose, ear
- May result in hematomas, especially in two areas: around the eyes and over the mastoid process.
Why would you get blood around the eyes or behind the ear with a basal skull fracture? Because blood can track from the site of the fracture to adjacent tissues. Here’s a little cartoon showing how this works, along with real-life examples.
- Kristine Krafts, MD
- Robbins Pathology 10th Edition page 1249-51