Diffuse axonal injury in head injuries caused by a fall

Lancet. 1984 Dec 22;2(8417-8418):1420-2. doi: 10.1016/s0140-6736(84)91620-9.


82 cases of diffuse axonal injury were found at necropsy in 635 patients with fatal nonmissile head injuries. 13 of these injuries were attributable to falls, and in all the patients fell from a considerable height. Diffuse axonal injury was not found in those with head injuries caused by a simple fall--ie, a fall from not more than the person's own height--but there was a statistically significant association between the presence of diffuse axonal injury and falls from a considerable height. These results indicate that diffuse axonal injury rarely, if ever, occurs as a result of a fall unless the patient has fallen some distance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Accidents*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Axons / pathology*
  • Brain / pathology*
  • Brain Injuries / etiology
  • Brain Injuries / pathology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged