The unique features of traumatic brain injury in children. Review of the characteristics of the pediatric skull and brain, mechanisms of trauma, patterns of injury, complications and their imaging findings--part 1

J Neuroimaging. 2012 Apr;22(2):e1-e17. doi: 10.1111/j.1552-6569.2011.00688.x. Epub 2012 Jan 24.


Traumatic head/brain injury (TBI) is a leading cause of death and life-long disability in children. The biomechanical properties of the child's brain and skull, the size of the child, the age-specific activity pattern, and higher degree of brain plasticity result in a unique distribution, degree, and quality of TBI compared to adult TBI. A detailed knowledge about the various types of primary and secondary pediatric head injuries is essential to better identify and understand pediatric TBI. The goals of this review article are (1) to discuss the unique epidemiology, mechanisms, and characteristics of TBI in children, and (2) to review the anatomical and functional imaging techniques that can be used to study common and rare pediatric traumatic brain injuries and their complications.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Brain / pathology
  • Brain / physiopathology*
  • Brain Injuries / diagnosis*
  • Brain Injuries / physiopathology
  • Child
  • Humans
  • Neuroimaging / methods*
  • Skull / injuries*