Superficial siderosis is thought to be caused by chronic subarachnoid hemorrhage. The most common underlying causes of the hemorrhage include trauma to the head or spine, postsurgical effects from neurosurgical interventions, intracranial tumors, brachial plexus injuries, dural tears, cerebral amyloid angiopathy, and vascular malfunctions. The source of the bleeding is not identified in up to half of cases. Symptoms can start months to years after an episode of hemorrhage.
Superficial siderosis was previously thought to be rare; however, it is now estimated to occur in 1% of the elderly population. It usually occurs in adults but can occur in the pediatric population as well. Diagnosis is made using MRI or postmortem brain biopsy.
There is no effective treatment for this condition, and management is mainly symptomatic. Treatment of the underlying cause of subarachnoid bleeding may be helpful in preventing further deposition of hemosiderin.
I60.9 – Nontraumatic subarachnoid hemorrhage, unspecified
S06.6X0A – Traumatic subarachnoid hemorrhage without loss of consciousness, initial encounter
84182002 – Deposition of iron
- Fungal meningitis
- Tuberculous meningitis (see tuberculosis)
- Carcinomatous meningitis
- Neurocutaneous melanosis
- Cerebral amyloid angiopathy
- Arteriovenous malformations of the brain or leptomeninges
- Sturge-Weber syndrome
- Cerebral cavernomas
- Dural arteriovenous fistulas or tears
- Cerebral venous sinus thrombosis
- Intracranial hemorrhage (see cerebral stroke)
- Chronic subdural hematomas
- Acute subarachnoid hemorrhage