Imaging of Traumatic Brain Injury

Radiol Clin North Am. 2015 Jul;53(4):695-715, viii. doi: 10.1016/j.rcl.2015.02.011.


Imaging plays an important role in the management of patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI). Computed tomography (CT) is the first-line imaging technique allowing rapid detection of primary structural brain lesions that require surgical intervention. CT also detects various deleterious secondary insults allowing early medical and surgical management. Serial imaging is critical to identifying secondary injuries. MR imaging is indicated in patients with acute TBI when CT fails to explain neurologic findings. However, MR imaging is superior in patients with subacute and chronic TBI and also predicts neurocognitive outcome.

Keywords: Brain injury; Computed tomography; MR imaging; Trauma.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain / pathology
  • Brain Injuries / complications
  • Brain Injuries / diagnosis*
  • Humans
  • Image Enhancement / methods*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Nervous System Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Nervous System Diseases / etiology
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods*