Evaluation of Clinical Criteria for Performing Brain CT-Scan in Patients with Mild Traumatic Brain Injury; A New Diagnostic Probe

Roghieh Molaei-Langroudi, Ahmad Alizadeh, Ehsan Kazemnejad-Leili, Vahid Monsef-Kasmaie, Seyed-Younes Moshirian


Objective: To investigate the risk factors that can be proper indications for performing brain computerized tomography (CT)-scan in patients with mild and moderate traumatic brain injury (TBI) in order to avoid unnecessary exposure to radiation, saving on costs as well as time wasted in emergency wards.

Methods: Data of patients with mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) referring to Emergency Department with age ≥2 years and primary GCS of 13-15 were examined including focal neurological deficit, anisocoria, skull fracture, multiple trauma, superior injury of clavicle, decreased consciousness, and amnesia. Brain CT-scan was performed in all the patients. Kappa Coefficient was used to determine the ratio of agreement of the CT indications (+ and ⎼) and multiple logistic regression to determine the relative odds of positive CTs.

Results: Overall we included 610 patients. One-hundred and one patients (16.5%) had positive and 509 (83.5%) had negative CT findings. Of positive CTs, the highest percentage was dedicated to high-energy mechanism of trauma. High-energy trauma mechanism (OR=1.056, 95% CI, OR, 1.03-1.04, P<0.001), superior injury of clavicle (OR=1.07, 95% CI, OR, 1.03-1.1, P<0.001) and moderate to severe headache (OR=1.04, 95% CI, OR, 1.02-1.05, P<0.001) were positive predictors of CT findings. The combined mean of positive symptoms equaled 0.29 ± 0.64 in negative CTs, but 5.13 ± 2.4 in positive CTs, showing a significant difference. (P<0.001)

Conclusion: Abnormal positive brain CT in victims with mild TBI is predictable if one or several risk factors are taken into account such as moderate to severe headache, decreased consciousness, skull fracture, high-energy trauma mechanism, superior injury of clavicle and GCS of 13-14. The more the symptoms, the more likely the positive CT results would be.


Computerized tomography (CT)-scan; Traumatic brain injury (TBI); Criteria; Clinical; Brain

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