Structural Neuroimaging Findings in Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

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Common neuroimaging findings in mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), including sport-related concussion (SRC), are reviewed based on computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Common abnormalities radiologically identified on the day of injury, typically a computed tomographic scan, are in the form of contusions, small subarachnoid or intraparenchymal hemorrhages as well as subdural and epidural collections, edema, and skull fractures. Common follow-up neuroimaging findings with MRI include white matter hyperintensities, hypointense signal abnormalities that reflect prior hemorrhage, focal encephalomalacia, presence of atrophy and/or dilated Virchow-Robins perivascular space. The MRI findings from a large pediatric mTBI study show low frequency of positive MRI findings at 6 months postinjury. The review concludes with an examination of some of the advanced MRI-based image analysis methods that can be performed in the patient who has sustained an mTBI.

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