Diagnostic confusion in mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI). Lessons from clinical practice and EFNS--inquiry. European Federation of Neurological Societies

Brain Inj. 2001 Mar;15(3):273-7. doi: 10.1080/026990501300005712.


A 1997 inquiry of 130 neurosurgeons throughout Germany, dealing with diagnosis and therapy of patients with mild traumatic brain injury showed a mainly inhomogeneous picture. The European Federation of Neurological Societies inquiry form 'Management of Patients with Mild Head Injury' was sent on behalf of the German Society of Neurological Surgeons to every leading neurosurgeon in Germany, of whom only 74 (57%) answered. The diagnosis 'mild brain injury' is used by 63%, 'commotio cerebri' by 49%, and 'brain concussion' by 4% of the institutions. GCS is used for classification by 60%, PTA 48%, retrograde amnesia by 50%, and LOC by 63% of institutions. Guidelines are used in 78%. Diagnostic x-ray of the skull is used in 77%, cervical spine in 62%, CT in 66%, MRT in 7%; and routine EEG in 35%. Fourteen per cent of the patients are not admitted; home observation is used in 45% of institutions, full bedrest in 19%, working pause in 48%, pain medication in 27%, control in 51%. Seperate guidelines for children in 54% of those departments.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Brain Concussion / classification
  • Brain Concussion / diagnosis*
  • Brain Concussion / rehabilitation
  • Child
  • Electroencephalography
  • Head Injuries, Closed / classification
  • Head Injuries, Closed / diagnosis*
  • Head Injuries, Closed / rehabilitation
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Neurosurgery*
  • Patient Admission
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Prognosis
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed