The significance of diagnostic imaging in acute and chronic brain damage in boxing. A prospective study in amateur boxing using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

Int J Sports Med. 1992 Nov;13(8):616-20. doi: 10.1055/s-2007-1024576.


The significance and possible extent of structural damage to the central nervous system (CNS) due to boxing are investigated. Bleeding, especially microhematomas, is considered to be one probable cause of the chronic encephalopathy in boxers. In a prospective study, 13 amateur boxers were investigated with the help of MRI several times before and after their fights. The MRI investigations were accompanied by neurologic examinations before and after the fights. Among the 13 boxes, 5 demonstrated focal neurological signs following the fights, without evidence of small hematoma or other structural alterations. The number of head punches did not correlate with the occurrence of neurologic signs. These results indicate that up to now imaging methods cannot clarify the development of chronic encephalopathy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adult
  • Boxing / injuries*
  • Brain Damage, Chronic / diagnosis
  • Brain Damage, Chronic / epidemiology
  • Brain Injuries / diagnosis*
  • Brain Injuries / epidemiology
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / diagnosis
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Prospective Studies