The association between the postconcussion symptoms and clinical outcomes for patients with mild traumatic brain injury

J Trauma. 2007 Mar;62(3):657-63. doi: 10.1097/01.ta.0000203577.68764.b8.


Background: Postconcussion symptoms (PCS) (such as dizziness, headache, irritability, fatigue, and impaired memory) are common in patients who sustain a mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI). However, few studies have systematically investigated the association between PCS and clinical outcomes in mTBI patients. Therefore, the present study attempted to examine PCS during the disease course and to determine whether PCS adversely affect outcome.

Methods: This was a prospective, cohort and controlled study of 115 mTBI patients. The PCS checklist was used to identify PCS and the Glasgow Outcome Scale and the Glasgow Outcome Scale-Extended were used to investigate clinical outcomes. All patients were evaluated four times: at 1 week, 2 weeks, 4 weeks, and 8 weeks after the injury.

Results: Physical symptoms such as dizziness and headache were prominent in the early after injury stage (1 and 2 weeks). On the other hand, the psychosocial symptoms, such as depression and irritability, were significant at the late after injury stage (4 and 8 weeks). Dizziness adversely affected clinical outcome at both the early and late stages of the disease, whereas the impact of intracranial lesions and depression on outcome was greatest early and late, respectively.

Conclusions: The results show that PCS during the disease course and the relationship between PCS and clinical outcome can be systematically evaluated. In fact, different postconcussion symptom domains should be monitored while the disease is progressing.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Affect
  • Brain Injuries / pathology*
  • Depression / etiology
  • Dizziness / etiology
  • Female
  • Glasgow Outcome Scale
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Post-Concussion Syndrome / diagnosis*
  • Prognosis