The membranes from 50 cases of chronic subdural haematomas were examined histologically and correlated with the duration of the lesion. Cases were divided into three groups based on duration from time of trauma and/or onset of clinical symptoms to date of surgery - Group I: 1 to 30 days, Group II: 31 to 90 days and Group III: >90 days. Infiltration with eosinophils was observed in the vascularised and hyalinised granulation tissue of the subdural membrane in 30 of the 50 cases (60%). There was a trend to correlation both of the frequency and the extent of eosinophilic infiltration with duration of haematoma. Thus, eosinophils were encountered in about half the cases with duration up to 3 months which increased to 80% in cases with duration more than 3 months. The extent of eosinophilic infiltration (mild, moderate or severe) also appeared to correlate with duration of haematoma in that mild infiltration was more common in Group I cases while moderate to severe infiltration were more frequently observed in Group II and III cases. No correlation was observed of the eosinophilic infiltrate with age and sex of the patients or with presence of other cellular inflammatory components of the membrane. Interestingly, a finding hitherto unreported in English literature was the demonstration of mast cells in 7 of 16 membranes (44%) which had been stained using toluidine blue. It is possible that the eosinophils appear at this unusual site due to chemotactic stimulus abetted by these mast cells as well as lymphocytes and haemosiderin pigment. The eosinophils may have an important role in the repair and healing process of these membranes.
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