MR line scan diffusion imaging of the brain in children.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: MR imaging of the self-diffusion of water has become increasingly popular for the early detection of cerebral infarction in adults. The purpose of this study was to evaluate MR line scan diffusion imaging (LSDI) of the brain in children. METHODS: LSDI was performed in four volunteers and 12 patients by using an effective TR/TE of 2736/89.4 and a maximum b value of 450 to 600 s/mm2 applied in the x, y, and z directions. In the volunteers, single-shot echo planar imaging of diffusion (EPID) was also performed. The patients (10 boys and two girls) ranged in age from 2 days to 16 years (average age, 6.6 years). Diagnoses included acute cerebral infarction, seizure disorder, posttraumatic confusion syndrome, complicated migraine, residual astrocytoma, encephalitis, hypoxia without cerebral infarction, cerebral contusion, and conversion disorder. In all patients, routine spin-echo images were also acquired. Trace images and apparent diffusion coefficient maps were produced for each location scanned with LSDI. RESULTS: In the volunteers, LSDI showed less chemical-shift and magnetic-susceptibility artifact and less geometric distortion than did EPID. LSDI was of diagnostic quality in all studies. Diffusion abnormalities were present in five patients. Restricted diffusion was present in the lesions of the three patients with acute cerebral infarction. Mildly increased diffusion was present in the lesions of encephalitis and residual cerebellar astrocytoma. No diffusion abnormalities were seen in the remaining seven children. CONCLUSION: LSDI is feasible in children, provides high-quality diffusion images with less chemical-shift and magnetic-susceptibility artifact and less geometric distortion than does EPID, and complements the routine MR examination. (+info)
Remediation of attention deficits in head injury.
Head injury is associated with psychological sequelae which impair the patient's psychosocial functioning. Information processing, attention and memory deficits are seen in head injuries of all severity. We attempted to improve deficits of focused, sustained and divided attention. The principle of overlapping sources of attention resource pools was utilised in devising the remediation programme. Tasks used simple inexpensive materials. Four head injured young adult males with post concussion syndrome underwent the retraining program for one month. The patients had deficits of focused, sustained and divided attention parallel processing, serial processing, visual scanning, verbal learning and memory and working memory. After the retraining programme the deficits of attention improved in the four patients. Serial processing improved in two patients. Parallel processing and neuropsychological deficits did not improve in any patient. The symptom intensity reduced markedly and behavioural functioning improved in three of the four patients. The results supported an association between improving attention and reduction of symptom intensity. Attention remediation shows promise as a cost effective, time efficient and simple technique to improve the psychological and psychosocial functioning of the head injured patient. (+info)
Assessment and management of concussion in sports.
The most common head injury in sports is concussion. Athletes who sustain a prolonged loss of consciousness should be transported immediately to a hospital for further evaluation. Assessment of less severe injuries should include a thorough neurologic examination. The duration of symptoms and the presence or absence of post-traumatic amnesia and loss of consciousness should be noted. To avoid premature return to play, a good understanding of the possible hazards is important. Potential hazards of premature return to play include the possibility of death from second-impact syndrome, permanent neurologic impairment from cumulative trauma, and the postconcussion syndrome. (+info)
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Diffuse axonal injury (DAI) accounts for a significant portion of primary intra-axial lesions in cases of traumatic brain injury. The goal of this study was to use diffusion-weighted MR imaging to characterize DAI in the setting of acute and subacute traumatic brain injury. METHODS: Nine patients ranging in age from 26 to 78 years were examined with conventional MR imaging (including fast spin-echo T2-weighted, fluid-attenuated inversion-recovery, and gradient-echo sequences) as well as echo-planar diffusion-weighted MR imaging 1 to 18 days after traumatic injury. Lesions were characterized as DAI on the basis of their location and their appearance on conventional MR images. Trace apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) maps were computed off-line with the diffusion-weighted and base-line images. Areas of increased signal were identified on the diffusion-weighted images, and regions of interests were used to obtain trace ADC values. RESULTS: In the nine patients studied, isotropic diffusion-weighted images showed areas of increased signal with correspondingly decreased ADC. In one case, decreased ADC was seen 18 days after the initial event. CONCLUSION: Decreased ADC can be demonstrated in patients with DAI in the acute setting and may persist into the subacute period, beyond that described for cytotoxic edema in ischemia. (+info)
Reversible neuropsychological deficits after mild traumatic brain injury.
OBJECTIVES: To determine the influence of motivation on performance in a divided attention test of patients after mild traumatic brain injury (MBI). METHODS: Comparison of the performance of 12 patients with MBI with 10 patients with severe brain injury (SBI) and 11 healthy controls in a computer supported divided attention task before (T1) and after (T2) verbal motivation. RESULTS: At T1, the MBI group performed the same as the SBI group but significantly worse than the controls in all variables. At T2, the MBI group performed worse than the controls at T2 but the results were equal to the results of the controls at T1 and significantly better than the SBI group at T1 or T2. At T2 the MBI group performed at the level of published norms for the rest. CONCLUSION: Before verbal motivation the MBI group's results in the divided attention task were comparable with those from patients with severe brain injury. They failed to exploit their performance potential when it depended on self motivation but were able to perform at the level of the control group when external motivation was applied. (+info)
Magnetization transfer imaging in the detection of injury associated with mild head trauma.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Most traumatic brain injuries are classified as mild, yet in many instances cognitive deficits result. The purpose of this study was to investigate possible relationships between quantitative magnetization transfer imaging (MTI) and neurocognitive findings in a cohort of patients with mild head trauma but negative findings on conventional MR images. METHODS: We examined 13 patients and 10 healthy volunteers with a standard MR protocol including fast spin-echo and gradient-echo imaging, to which was added quantitative MTI. MTI was performed with a modified gradient-echo sequence incorporating pulsed, off-resonance saturation. Both region-of-interest analysis and contour plots were obtained from the MTI data. A subgroup of nine patients was examined with a battery of neuropsychological tests, comprising 25 measures of neurocognitive ability. RESULTS: The magnetization transfer ratio (MTR) in the splenium of the corpus callosum was lower in the patient group as compared with the control group, but no significant reduction in MTR was found in the pons. Individual regional MTR values were significantly reduced in two cases, and contour plot analysis revealed focal areas of abnormality in the splenium of four patients. All the patients showed impairment on at least three measures of the neuropsychological test battery, and in two cases a significant correlation was found between regional MTR values and neuropsychological performance. CONCLUSION: Our results suggest that MTI and contour plot analysis may add sensitivity to the MR imaging examination of patients with traumatic brain injury. (+info)
Non-invasive screening for surgical intracranial lesions.
The value and reliability of the combined results of skull radiographs, electroencephalography, echoencephalography, isotope angiography, and brain scanning in 147 patients suspected of having an intracranial space occupying lesions are analysed. The overall accuracy of the technique was 79%. No false negatives were found. The advantages of adopting the system proposed by the authors in everyday clinical work is discussed. (+info)
Effectiveness of headgear in a pilot study of under 15 rugby union football.
OBJECTIVE: To determine whether protective headgear reduced the incidence of concussion in a pilot study of under 15 rugby union. METHODS: Sixteen under 15 rugby union teams were recruited from three interschool competitions in metropolitan Sydney and the adjacent country region. A prospective study was undertaken over a single competitive season. The study had two arms: a headgear arm and a control arm. Headgear wearing rates and injury data were reported to the investigators and verified using spot checks. RESULTS: A total of 294 players participated in the study. There were 1179 player exposures with headgear and 357 without headgear. In the study time frame, there were nine incidences of concussion; seven of the players involved wore headgear and two did not. There was no significant difference between concussion rates between the two study arms. CONCLUSIONS: Although there is some controversy about the desirability of wearing protective headgear in football, this pilot study strongly suggests that current headgear does not provide significant protection against concussion in rugby union at a junior level. (+info)