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J Korean Soc Emerg Med > Volume 24(1); 2013 > Article
Journal of The Korean Society of Emergency Medicine 2013;24(1): 31-38.
Clinical Factors for Prediction of Postconcussion Syndrome in Patients with Mild Traumatic Brain Injury
Gab Teug Kim
Department of Emergency Medicine, College of Medicine, Dankook University, Cheonan, Korea. gtkim@medigate.net
Mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) is defined as head injury resulting from blunt trauma with one or more of the following conditions: 1) any period of transient confusion, disorientation, or impaired consciousness; 2) any period of dysfunction of memory (amnesia) around the time of injury; 3) observed signs of other neurological or neuropsychological dysfunction; 4) any period of loss of consciousness lasting 30 minutes or less. As a result of its subtle computed tomography (CT) findings, patients with mTBI were almost ordered discharged in the emergency setting. However, postconcussion syndrome (PCS) could develop in approximately 10 to 20% of these patients. This study was conducted in order to investigate the prognostic factors of PCS, and the role of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for diagnosis of PCS in mTBI patients.
This retrospective study was conducted in 397 patients who were admitted with mTBI (GCS=15, age> or =6 years old) for analysis of the prognostic factors of PCS, and 187 patients who underwent both CT scan and MRI for comparison of the sensitivity of CT to that of MRI from January 2009 to December 2010. PCS was defined as a disorder with somatic, cognitive, or affective symptoms.
Of the mTBI patients, 44.2% had PCS. The independent prognostic factors were loss of consciousness (LOC)/posttraumatic amnesia (PTA), headache, and intracranial hemorrhage on CT scans. Strong suggestive CT findings of PCS were lesions located in intra-axial and white matter, subdural hematoma, and intraprenchymal contusion of the frontal or temporal lobe. A decision model for prediction of PCS in mTBI consisted of three risk factors: LOC/PTA, headache, facial fracture, and intracranial hemorrhage on CT scans. The sensitivity of MRI was superior to that of CT in detection of PCS (72.4.4% vs 60.9%, p=0.021).
The possibility of developing PCS was high in mTBI patients with LOC/PTA, headache, and abnormal CT findings. These patients may require MRI evaluation.
Key words: Traumatic brain injury, Postconcussion syndrome
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