Post-traumatic amnesia predicts long-term cerebral atrophy in traumatic brain injury

Brain Inj. 2006 Jun;20(7):695-9. doi: 10.1080/02699050600744079.


Primary objective: To examine post-traumatic amnesia (PTA) and its relation to long-term cerebral atrophy in persons with traumatic brain injury (TBI) using objective indicators of PTA duration and Quantitative Magnetic Resonance Imaging (QMRI). It was hypothesized that longer PTA would predict later generalized atrophy (increased ventricle-to-brain ratio (VBR)). As a guide in assessing patients with TBI, this study determined the probability of developing chronic cerebral atrophy based on PTA duration.

Research design: Probability model using 60 adult patients with mild-to-severe TBI.

Main outcomes and results: A logistic regression model with a cut-off determined by normative QMRI data confirmed that longer PTA duration predicts increased VBR. A probability model demonstrated a 6% increase in the odds of developing later atrophy on neuroimaging with each additional day of PTA.

Conclusions: PTA has previously proven to be a good indicator of later cognitive recovery and functional outcome and also predicts long-term parenchymal change.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Amnesia, Retrograde / etiology*
  • Amnesia, Retrograde / pathology
  • Atrophy / etiology
  • Atrophy / pathology
  • Brain / pathology*
  • Brain Injuries / pathology
  • Brain Injuries / psychology*
  • Brain Injuries / rehabilitation
  • Cerebral Ventricles / pathology
  • Chronic Disease
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Psychometrics
  • Time Factors