Radiologic brain imaging is the most useful means of visualizing and categorizing the location, nature, and degree of damage to the central nervous system sustained by patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI). In addition to determining acute patient management and prognosis, imaging is crucial for the characterization and classification of injuries for natural history studies and clinical trials. This article is the initial result of a workshop convened by multiple national health care agencies in March 2009 to begin to make recommendations for potential data elements dealing with specific radiologic features and definitions needed to characterize injuries, as well as specific techniques and parameters needed to optimize radiologic data acquisition. The neuroimaging work group included professionals with expertise in basic imaging research and physics, clinical neuroradiology, neurosurgery, neurology, physiatry, psychiatry, TBI research, and research database formation. This article outlines the rationale and overview of their specific recommendations. In addition, we review the contributions of various imaging modalities to the understanding of TBI and the general principles needed for database flexibility and evolution over time to accommodate technical advances.
Copyright © 2010 American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.