Neuroimaging findings in mild traumatic brain injury

J Clin Exp Neuropsychol. 2001 Dec;23(6):775-91. doi: 10.1076/jcen.23.6.775.1026.


The role of neuroimaging in the diagnosis and management of mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) is evolving. In general, the structural imaging techniques play a role in acute diagnosis and management, while the functional imaging techniques show promise for clarification of pathophysiology, symptom genesis, and mechanisms of recovery. A wide array of neuropathological processes are involved in mild TBI including changes in bone (e.g., a skull fracture), tissue density and water content (edema), blood flow, white matter integrity and pathway connectivity (diffuse axonal injury), and subtle changes in the neuronal and extracellular biochemical milieu. No single imaging technique is capable of addressing all these processes. It is, therefore, important to be aware of the advantages and limitations of the various available imaging modalities. This paper selectively reviews the pertinent literature on the structural and functional imaging in mild TBI.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain / blood supply
  • Brain / pathology
  • Brain / physiopathology
  • Brain Injuries / diagnosis*
  • Brain Injuries / pathology
  • Brain Injuries / physiopathology
  • Diagnostic Imaging / methods*
  • Humans