Criteria for Performing Cranial Computed Tomography for Chinese Patients With Mild Traumatic Brain Injury: Canadian Computed Tomography Head Rule or New Orleans Criteria?

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Computed tomography (CT) provides the primary diagnostic evidence for traumatic brain injury (TBI), but few positive traumatic findings are discovered in patients with mild TBI. In China, there are no existing criteria for selecting patients with mild TBI to undergo CT, and almost all of these patients undergo cranial CT in the emergency department. This retrospective study was performed to evaluate the necessity of cranial CT among patients with mild TBI, as well as the feasibility of 2 popular criteria (Canadian CT head rule [CCHR] and New Orleans Criteria [NOC]) in China. Patients with mild TBI who underwent cranial CT within 24 hours of the trauma were included in our institute. Two neurosurgeons reviewed the CT images independently to identify positive CT findings. The sensitivity and specificity of CCHR and NOC for positive CT findings related to TBI were analyzed. Finally, this study included 625 patients. Positive CT findings related to TBI were discovered in 13.12% (82/625) of these patients on cranial CT, and 6.88% (43/625) of them were admitted to the hospital for further management. Ultimately, 11 patients (1.76%, 11/625) underwent neurosurgery. In this study, the sensitivities of both the CCHR and NOC were 100%, but the specificity of CCHR was 43.36% and that of NOC was 33.12%. Based on our study, both CCHR and NOC have high sensitivity for the detection of positive CT findings related to head trauma in patients with mild TBI.

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