A review of the use of single-photon emission computerized tomography as a diagnostic tool in mild traumatic brain injury

Appl Neuropsychol. 2002;9(2):92-105. doi: 10.1207/S15324826AN0902_4.


The aim of this literature review was to follow up on recommendations set forth in 1996 reviews by the Society for Nuclear Medicine Brain Imaging Council (SNMBIC) and the Therapeutics and Technology Assessment Subcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology (TTASAAN) regarding the use of single-photon emission computerized tomography (SPECT) with mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI). An extensive review of databases was conducted to determine studies analyzing MTBI that used SPECT as a diagnostic tool between the years of 1966 and 2000. Although only 9 studies met the established criteria, the review suggests that SPECT may be a useful tool in the detection of MTBI and in treatment planning. However, because of the lack of consensus regarding SPECT's sensitivity, it is recommended that future researchers consider the possibility of multiple subtypes of MTBI, hemodynamically different types of contusions, and the need for complementary diagnostic tools.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain Injuries / diagnosis*
  • Brain Injuries / pathology
  • Brain Injuries / therapy
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Humans
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon / methods*