Day of injury CT and late MRI findings: Cognitive outcome in a paediatric sample with complicated mild traumatic brain injury.

Bigler ED, Jantz PB, Farrer TJ, Abildskov TJ, Dennis M, Gerhardt CA, Rubin KH, Stancin T, Taylor HG, Vannatta K, Yeates KO
Brain Inj 29 1062-70 01/01/2015


OBJECTIVES: Complicated mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) or cmTBI is based on the presence of visibly identifiable brain pathology on the day-of-injury computed tomography (CT) scan. In a paediatric sample the relation of DOI CT to late MRI findings and neuropsychological outcome was examined.

METHODS: MRI (>12 months) was obtained in paediatric cmTBI patients and a sample of orthopaedically injured (OI) children. Those children with positive imaging findings (MRI+) were quantitatively compared to those without (MRI-) or with the OI sample. Groups were also compared in neurocognitive outcome from WASI sub-tests and the WISC-IV Processing Speed Index (PSI), along with the Test of Everyday Attention for Children (TEA-Ch) and a parent-rated behavioural functioning measure (ABAS-II).

RESULTS: Despite the MRI+ group having significantly more DOI CT findings than the MRI- group, no quantitative differences were found. WASI Vocabulary and Matrix Reasoning scores were significantly lower, but not PSI, TEA-Ch or ABAS-II scores. MRI+ and MRI- groups did not differ on these measures.

CONCLUSIONS: Heterogeneity in the occurrence of MRI-identified focal pathology was not associated with uniform changes in quantitative analyses of brain structure in cmTBI. Increased number of DOI CT abnormalities was associated with lowered neuropsychological performance.

Full Text