If you’ve received a traumatic brain injury at some point, you may have had a CT scan done. If you did, it is very likely the scan came back normal. This is because, according to scientists from the University of California, San Francisco and the San Francisco General Hospital CT scans may not show signs of traumatic brain injuries that they now think MRI scans can help pinpoint.
The researchers tracked 135 people with mild traumatic brain injuries over two-weeks, and all were given CT scans first, with an MRI a week later. Ninety-nine percent of those involved showed no observable damage on their CT scans, but over a fourth of those with normal CT scans showed “focal lesions” on the MRI scans. Focal lesions are detectable spots relating to microscopic bleeding in the brain.
Connie K. Ho reported the news for Red Orbit, and the findings of the clinical trial were published in the Annals of Neurology recently. The findings show how much improvement can be made to our current system of treatment for TBI. The study’s senior author Dr. Geoffrey Manley summed up the news as, “having a normal CT scan doesn’t, in fact, say you’re normal.”