MRI, CT Scans After Brain Injury

By Attorney Gordon Johnson

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After head trauma, "computed tomography (CT or CAT Scan), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), electroencephalogram (EEG), or routine neurological evaluations may be normal."*

Breakthrough: The most modern MRI techniques are now showing significant pathologies in Subtle Brain Injury cases.

*Source: Definition of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Developed by the Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Committee of the Head Injury Interdisciplinary Special Interest Group of the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine.
J Head Trauma Rehabil 1993:8(3):86-87

One of the most important life saving breakthroughs in trauma medicine has been the development of CT and MRI scanning which have enabled us to see the enemy before it kills. The enemy in these cases is the often reversible focal conditions of hemorrhage, hematoma and edema. Yet, as valuable as these diagnostic tools have been in guiding intervention in acute management of the severely injured brain, normal scans do not rule out even life threatening brain trauma. Thus, their diagnostic value in subtle brain injury, which typically involves diffuse damage, is limited. Subtle brain injury can only be identified by a triangulated evaluation of these three things:

  • The patients acute history,
  • The patients long term symptomatology; and
  • A detailed neuropsychological assessment.

Thus, when considering the relevancy of scanning in the diagnosis of brain injury, it is important to understand what each of the below diagnostic tests can tell us about brain damage.

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©Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr. ,1999,2000,2001


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