Utilization of Imaging Technology in Concussion Assessment

  • Katherine S. Dahab
  • David T. Bernhardt


In the emergency room setting, children with concussions often undergo computed tomography (CT) scan to assess for structural damage in the brain. When specific clinical signs and symptoms are present, then a CT scan is essential to assess for underlying severe structural injury. Similarly, a patient who initially is clinically well appearing and then has clinical deterioration over 48–72 h should be evaluated with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to assess for structural damage. Both CT scan and MRI, however, are typically normal in otherwise uncomplicated concussions and do not predict the severity of concussion or guide postconcussion management. Newer imaging techniques are more sensitive in detecting the subtle, cellular-level changes associated with concussion. Most of the newer techniques are not yet well established with clinical use protocols but offer promise for the future. This chapter reviews the various imaging modalities available to help with concussion management.


Positron Emission Tomography Single Photon Emission Compute Tomography Diffusion Tensor Imaging Positron Emission Tomography Imaging Blood Oxygen Level Dependent 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of WisconsinMilwaukeeUSA
  2. 2.Department of Pediatrics, Orthopedics and RehabilitationUniversity of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public HealthMadisonUSA

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