After brain injury, “CT, MRI and EEG or routine neurological evaluations may be normal.”
Source: Definition of MTBI, ACRM, J Head Trauma Rehabil 1993:8(3):86-87
One important breakthrough in trauma medicine has been the development of CT and MRI. It is almost remarkable that even in the 1970’s, such tools did not exist. These scans may enabled us to see the enemy of secondary brain injury, before it kills. The enemy in these cases are often reversible conditions where surgery can save lives, such as hemorrhage, hematoma and edema.
Yet, these diagnostic do not rule out even life threatening brain trauma.
Thus, when considering the relevancy of scanning in the diagnosis of TBI, it is important to understand what each of the below diagnostic tests tell shows about brain damage:
- CT – Computerized Tomography
- MRI – Magnetic Resonance Imaging
- ENG – Electronystagmography
- Vestibular Testing
- PET – Positron Emission Tomography
- SPECT – Single Photon/Positron Emission Computed Tomography
- EEG – Electroencephalography