Cranial computed tomography in diagnosis and management of acute head trauma

AJR Am J Roentgenol. 1978 Jul;131(1):27-34. doi: 10.2214/ajr.131.1.27.


Review of the computed tomographic findings in 286 patients with acute craniocerebral trauma revealed several types of lesions: hemorrhagic contusion, intracerebral and extracerebral hematomas, general and focal cerebral swelling, and shearing injury of the cerebral white matter. Hemorrhagic contusions are the most frequent lesion and may result in focal neurologic deficits. General cerebral swelling occurs frequently in children and necessitates prompt medical management for complete recovery. Mortality rates for intracerebral, subdural, and epidural hematomas were lower for this series than for series that preceded computed tomography. Because of the availability of computed tomography, there was an 84% reduction in arteriography, 58% reduction in surgical intervention, and a 24% reduction in skull radiography.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Angiography
  • Autopsy
  • Brain Edema / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain Injuries / diagnostic imaging
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / diagnostic imaging
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / surgery
  • Cerebral Ventriculography
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Contusions / diagnostic imaging
  • Craniocerebral Trauma / diagnostic imaging*
  • Female
  • Hematoma / diagnostic imaging
  • Hematoma / surgery
  • Hematoma, Epidural, Cranial / diagnostic imaging
  • Hematoma, Subdural / diagnostic imaging
  • Hemorrhage / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Skull / diagnostic imaging*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*
  • Wounds, Nonpenetrating / diagnostic imaging