99mTc-HMPAO SPECT of the brain in mild to moderate traumatic brain injury patients: compared with CT--a prospective study

Brain Inj. Nov-Dec 1993;7(6):469-79. doi: 10.3109/02699059309008174.


Single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) with Technetium-99m hexamethyl propylenamine oxime (Tc-99m-HMPAO) was used in 20 patients with mild to moderate traumatic brain injury (TBI) to evaluate the effects of brain trauma on regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF). SPECT scan was compared with CT scan in 16 patients. SPECT showed intraparenchymal differences in rCBF more often than lesions diagnosed with CT scans (87.5% vs. 37.5%). In five of six patients with lesions in both modalities, the area of involvement was relatively larger on SPECT scans than on CT scans. Contrecoup changes were seen in five patients on SPECT alone, two patients with CT alone and one patient had contrecoup lesions on CT and SPECT. Of the eight patients (50%) with skull fractures, seven (43.7%) had rCBF findings on SPECT scan and five (31.3%) demonstrated decrease in rCBF in brain underlying the fracture. All these patients with fractures had normal brain on CT scans. Conversely, extra-axial lesions and fractures evident on CT did not visualize on SPECT, but SPECT demonstrated associated changes in rCBF. Although there is still lack of clinical and pathological correlation, SPECT appears to be a promising method for a more sensitive evaluation of axial lesions in patients with mild to moderate TBI.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Blood-Brain Barrier / physiology*
  • Brain / blood supply*
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain Concussion / diagnosis
  • Brain Concussion / physiopathology
  • Brain Injuries / diagnosis*
  • Brain Injuries / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Glasgow Coma Scale
  • Head Injuries, Closed / diagnosis
  • Head Injuries, Closed / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Organotechnetium Compounds
  • Oximes
  • Prospective Studies
  • Regional Blood Flow / physiology
  • Skull Fractures / diagnosis
  • Skull Fractures / physiopathology
  • Technetium Tc 99m Exametazime
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*


  • Organotechnetium Compounds
  • Oximes
  • Technetium Tc 99m Exametazime