Mild traumatic brain injury

Eur J Neurol. 2012 Feb;19(2):191-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-1331.2011.03581.x.


Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is among the most frequent neurological disorders. Of all TBIs 90% are considered mild with an annual incidence of 100–300/100.000. Intracranial complications of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (MTBI) are infrequent (10%), requiring neurosurgical intervention in a minority of cases (1%), but potentially life-threatening (case fatality rate 0,1%). Hence, a true health management problem exists because of the need to exclude the small chance of a life threatening complication in large numbers of individual patients. The 2002 EFNS guidelines used a best evidence approach based on the literature until 2001 to guide initial management with respect to indications for CT, hospital admission, observation and follow up of MTBI patients. This updated EFNS guideline version for initial management inMTBI proposes a more selectively strategy for CT when major (dangerous mechanism, GCS<15, 2 points deterioration on the GCS, clinical signs of (basal) skull fracture, vomiting, anticoagulation therapy, post traumatic seizure) or minor (age, loss of consciousness, persistent anterograde amnesia, focal deficit, skull contusion, deterioration on the GCS) risk factors are present based on published decision rules with a high level of evidence. In addition clinical decision rules for CT now exist for children as well. Since 2001 recommendations, although with a lower level of evidence, have been published for clinical in hospital observation to prevent and treat other potential threads to the patient including behavioral disturbances (amnesia, confusion and agitation) and infection.

Publication types

  • Practice Guideline

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain Injuries / diagnosis*
  • Brain Injuries / therapy*
  • Child
  • Decision Making
  • Glasgow Coma Scale
  • Humans
  • Severity of Illness Index