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MRIs Better Than CT Scans at Detecting Brain Injuries

According to, scientists from the University of California, San Francisco, have discovered that MRI scans often show signs of mild traumatic brain injuries that may be missed by CT scan.

Better Scans, Better Diagnosis

The study included 135 individuals that had suffered mild traumatic brain injuries over a two-year period. Participants were first given CT scans and then given MRI scan a week later. While most patients (99) had no sign of brain injury on the CT scan, more than a quarter (27 out of 99) of those who had a “normal” CT scan showed detectable spots (called “focal lesions,” which are signs of microscopic bleeding in the brain) on their MRI scans.

The study’s senior author, Dr. Geoffrey Manley, who is the chief of neurosurgery at San Francisco General Hospital and the vice-chair of the Department of Neurological Surgery at UCSF, recently stated that “this work raises questions of how we are currently managing head injury patients via CT scans. Having a normal CT scan doesn’t, in fact, say that you are “normal.”

The team of researchers believe that finding the focal lesions will assist doctors in their task of predicting ongoing neurological problems for head injury patients. There are long-term neurological consequences for approximately 15 percent of the individuals that suffer from mild traumatic brain injuries (MTBI). However, at the present time, there is no accurate diagnostic tool to enable doctors to opine whether patients suffering from these mild traumatic brain injuries will have long-term neurological issues.

The Problem With Mild TBIs

The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have alerted physicians that mild traumatic brain injuries can be particularly problematic because patients are treated at the Emergency Rooms and then released without being admitted to the hospital for follow-up. Although many patients do recover from mild traumatic brain injuries, others don’t. Brain injuries can lead to permanent impairment for patients due to the lack of follow up treatment and improper diagnosis.

This research is important because about 1.7 million people in the United States suffer from acute head injuries. About three quarters of those people will suffer from symptoms such as amnesia, temporary loss of consciousness and other symptoms common in cases of mild traumatic brain injuries. This study is believed to be important because it can help researchers develop better ways to evaluate patients that have suffered a head injury and can help doctors better diagnose these patients and have them complete a more thorough follow up, instead of just sending them home because the injury to their brain was not detected initially.

We Can Help

With more than 100 years of combined experience, the lawyers of Greenberg Stone and Urbano are ready to help victims that have suffered any kind of traumatic brain injury as a result of an accident recover the funds they need for their rehabilitation and maintenance of their life-style. If you or a loved one have suffered a traumatic brain injury as a result of a car accident, a truck accident, an accident at an amusement park or as a result of any other kind of accident or medical malpractice, you should immediately contact a law firm experienced in handling these cases. As stated before, a lawyer can help you seek financial compensation from those whose negligence caused your injuries as well as from their insurers. This financial compensation may include past and future medical expenses (including rehabilitation therapy), lost wages and pain and suffering.

Throughout the years, the Miami Dade County Traumatic Brain Injuries Law Offices of Greenberg Stone and Urbano have represented many clients that have suffered traumatic brain injuries. Visit our website to learn more about our firm and contact us today for a free consultation.

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