MR imaging of brain contusions: a comparative study with CT

AJR Am J Roentgenol. 1988 May;150(5):1133-42. doi: 10.2214/ajr.150.5.1133.


Ninety-eight brain contusions in 17 patients served as a data base for a comparative study of MR and CT for defining brain contusions. MR was the more sensitive technique, detecting 98% of the brain contusions compared with only 56% by CT. CT was slightly better for showing hemorrhagic components, documenting 77% of hemorrhages compared with 71% for MR. The appearance of the contusions on MR was variable, depending on the T1- and T2-weighting of the images and the constituents of the contusions, such as edema, hemorrhage, and encephalomalacia. On MR, hemorrhagic components appeared as high signal on T1-weighted images and as either low or high signal on T2-weighted images, depending on the age of the hemorrhage. The approximate ages of hemorrhagic contusions were often suggested by their appearance on T1- and T2-weighted images. CT is very effective for evaluating acute head trauma, but MR is recommended for documenting brain contusions during the subacute and chronic stages of head injuries.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Brain / pathology
  • Brain Concussion / diagnosis*
  • Brain Concussion / diagnostic imaging
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed