Imaging of traumatic brain injury

Author(s): Dr Arun Chandran, Dr Mark Radon

Hospital: The Walton Centre

Reference: RAD Magazine, 41, 482, 21-24


Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is an injury to the brain caused by mechanical trauma to the head. While there are numerous causes, road traffic collisions, falls and assaults are among the most common. Road traffic collisions have historically been the most common, but improvements in road safety and an ageing population may be accompanied by shifts in the relative importance of these mechanisms.

Head injury is the most common type of trauma seen in the emergency department, accounting for 10% of all emergency department cases. Recent statistics compiled by the Headway charity based on UK hospital admissions in 2013-14 reports 162,544 admissions for head injuries, equating to 445 cases per day. Head injury emergency department attendance distribution for age below and above 16 years were 41% and 59% respectively. Men are 1.6 times more likely to be admitted to hospital with a head injury than women.

Among all TBI patients, 10% sustain fatal brain injury while 5-10% develop permanent neurological deficits. Among the survivors 20-40% have moderate disability and even more have subtle deficits.

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