Mild head injury: a misnomer

Brain Inj. 1999 Jul;13(7):463-75. doi: 10.1080/026990599121386.


Despite controversy surrounding the concept of mild head injury (MHI), it is becoming evident that even a head trauma termed 'mild' may result in significant behavioural sequelae. The present study was an attempt at documenting structural cerebral damage, by way of computerized tomography, in a group of patients having suffered a MHI as defined by the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score. A 1-year retrospective chart review identified 80 MHI patients who presented to the Emergency department of a lead hospital for trauma. Sixty-six per cent of these MHI patients were scanned. Evidence of intracranial abnormalities was obtained in 31% of the overall sample. Patients with a lower GCS score had a higher percentage of abnormal scans than those with a GCS score of either 14 or 15. The present findings suggest that a MHI can be associated with significant morbidity, and that a MHI group does not constitute a homogeneous pool of patients.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Craniocerebral Trauma / diagnosis*
  • Female
  • Glasgow Coma Scale
  • Humans
  • Injury Severity Score
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Terminology as Topic*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed