Traumatic brain injuries: predictive usefulness of CT

Radiology. 1992 Mar;182(3):777-81. doi: 10.1148/radiology.182.3.1535893.


The computed tomographic (CT) scans from 72 patients with traumatic brain injury were reviewed to determined whether a specific type, location, or size of lesion correlated with changes in neurologic function (assessed with the Glasgow Coma Scale [GCS]), patient outcome (assessed with the Glasgow Outcome Scale [GOS]), or catecholamine levels. The lesions were classified as focal or diffuse. GOS changed as a function of lesions size (P = .00004) in the 48 patients with focal hemorrhages, regardless of whether the lesions were intra- or extraaxial, and in the 19 patients with normal CT scans. Patients with lesions larger than 4,100 mm3 had a twofold greater risk of a poor outcome than patients with smaller lesions (100% vs 50%). Patients with normal CT scans were significantly more likely to have mild neurological dysfunction or none than patients with abnormal CT scans (P = .03), but lesion location, skull fracture, and pineal shift were not significant predictors of GCS or GOS scores. A positive relationship existed between lesion size and both plasma norepinephrine and epinephrine levels (P less than .02); a significant relationship existed between lesion size and GCS score (P = .02).

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging*
  • Brain Injuries / blood
  • Brain Injuries / diagnostic imaging*
  • Brain Injuries / epidemiology
  • Epinephrine / blood
  • Glasgow Coma Scale
  • Humans
  • Norepinephrine / blood
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prognosis
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Norepinephrine
  • Epinephrine