Selected Cases of Poor Outcome Following a Minor Brain Trauma: Comparing Neuropsychological and Positron Emission Tomography Assessment

Brain Inj. May-Jun 1994;8(4):297-308. doi: 10.3109/02699059409150981.


Neuropsychological residua are common particularly in the early stages following a minor traumatic brain injury (TBI), however, a minority of individuals complain of persistent deficits following months or years post-accident. Nine such cases are presented with little or no evidence of brain damage demonstrated according to non-functional neuroimaging (for example CT, MRI), yet their neuropsychological examinations were positive. Since the introduction of positron emission tomography (PET), which captures a functional approach, the question arose as to what extent the two techniques (i.e. PET and neuropsychological examination) are interrelated. All nine minor TBI cases revealed a corroboration between the positive neuropsychological findings confirmed on the PET. The PET procedure documented neuropathology which frequently was pronounced in the frontal and anteriotemporo-frontal regions. Moreover, no significant differences were evident between those five cases with reported loss of consciousness vs. those four cases without.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Brain Damage, Chronic / diagnosis*
  • Brain Damage, Chronic / physiopathology
  • Brain Damage, Chronic / psychology
  • Brain Mapping
  • Cerebral Cortex / injuries
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiopathology
  • Dominance, Cerebral / physiology
  • Energy Metabolism / physiology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Frontal Lobe / injuries
  • Frontal Lobe / physiopathology
  • Head Injuries, Closed / diagnosis*
  • Head Injuries, Closed / physiopathology
  • Head Injuries, Closed / psychology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests*
  • Temporal Lobe / injuries
  • Temporal Lobe / physiopathology
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed*