Detecting Traumatic Brain Lesions in Children: CT versus MRI versus Susceptibility Weighted Imaging (SWI)

  • Beauchamp M
  • Ditchfield M
  • Babl F
 et al. 
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Cranial CT scans are at the center of decision making in brain injuries in children because of their speed and ability to detect surgically relevant lesions. However, alternative techniques, such as conventional MRI may have advantages in terms of radiation exposure and sensitivity to detect brain injury. Susceptibility-weighted imaging (SWI), a relatively novel MRI sequence, shows promise in terms of its sensitivity in detecting hemorrhagic lesions; however, its clinical potential remains uncertain. In this observational study of children (5-16 years of age) with traumatic brain injury (TBI) at a tertiary pediatric emergency department (ED) we compared the ability of detecting traumatic brain lesions on acute CT and MRI/SWI ∼ 5 weeks post-injury based on detecting the presence or absence, extent, and type of traumatic brain lesions. We analyzed the results of 76 patients (53 male) after TBI (mean age 10.24 ± 2.50 years, range 5.75-14.67 years). Glasgow Coma Score was 13-15 in 54 patients (71%), 9-12 in 13 patients (17%) and

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  • Miriam H. Beauchamp

  • Michael Ditchfield

  • Franz E. Babl

  • Michael Kean

  • Cathy Catroppa

  • Keith O. Yeates

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