Abnormal Scan Predicts Poor Prognosis in Mild Brain Injury

Computed tomography scans within 24 hours of brain injury in children help predict neuropsychological outcome at one year

FRIDAY, July 11 (HealthDay News) -- Children with normal computed tomography (CT) findings perform better in multiple cognitive domains one year after mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) than children with CT evidence of intracranial pathology, according to an article published in the June issue of the Journal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics.

Harvey S. Levin, Ph.D., of the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, and colleagues examined outcomes using neuropsychological testing in 80 patients with MTBI (32 with abnormal post-injury CT scans and 48 with normal CT scans).

Children with acute abnormalities on CT scans following MBTI had more difficulty on tests of reading, calculating, memory and cognitive processing than patients in the MTBI group without evidence of acute intracranial abnormalities, the researchers report.

"The presence of contusions, extraaxial hematomas, hemorrhage, depressed or basilar skull fracture, and brain swelling on CT is related to reduced functioning in several cognitive domains during the following 12 months. Computed tomography performed within 24 hours after MTBI may be useful in identifying children with elevated risks for persistent cognitive deficits who could benefit from rehabilitation therapy and accommodation at school to facilitate recovery," the authors conclude.

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