Postconcussion syndrome after mild traumatic brain injury in Western Greece

J Trauma. 2010 Oct;69(4):789-94. doi: 10.1097/TA.0b013e3181edea67.


Background: The prevalence of postconcussion syndrome (PCS) in the first weeks after mild traumatic brain injury varies from 40% to 80%. However, as many as 50% of patients report symptoms for up to 3 months and 10% to 15% for more than a year. The objective of this study is to analyze the characteristics and estimate the prevalence of PCS in an adult Greek population.

Methods: This prospective study was performed in the University Hospital of Patras in Western Greece. Patients with mild traumatic brain injury (n = 539) were randomly recruited on admission between May 2006 and May 2008. Overall, 223 patients (223 of 539, 41.5%) met the Colorado Medical Society guidelines for concussion; 141 men (63%) and 82 women (37%) with a median age of 30 years (range, 18.5-57.5 years) were included in the study. Patient follow-up consisted of telephone interviews at 1 month, 3 months, and 6 months postinjury, when they were asked about experiencing common postconcussion symptoms (International Classification of Diseases-10th revision criteria).

Results: The rate of PCS at 1 month, 3 months, and 6 months postinjury was estimated to be 10.3%, 6%, and 0.9%, respectively. The syndrome was more frequent among women (17%) and individuals with bleeding diathesis (26%) compared with men (6.4%) and patients without clotting disorders (8.5%), respectively. In addition, higher rates of PCS affected patients who sustained assaults compared with other types of accidents.

Conclusions: The prevalence of PCS was remarkably higher in previous studies. Cultural differences regarding symptom expectation and the lack of compensation might explain the low rate of chronic symptoms in Greeks.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cross-Cultural Comparison*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Greece
  • Hospitals, University / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Post-Concussion Syndrome / epidemiology*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Young Adult