Traumatic Brain Injuries and MRIs

There is a fair bit of confusion even among doctors about how to confirm a traumatic brain injury particularly mild or moderate TBIs through diagnostic imaging.  The usual CT scan done at the hospital might show an open bleed, a skull fracture or a large blood bruise or hematoma.  You should be aware a normal MRI may not disclose the full extent of the problem.

Half of the time the emergency room including the CT will fail to discover the permanent traumatic brain injury effects of a concussion.  Often these effects occur in the first few months after the accident but the processes of the bleeding in microscopic or cellular level in the brain will not be shown on the imaging at the emergency room.

Why an MRI may be insufficient after a brain injury

Am MRI may not disclose the full extent of head trauma

The best way to show whether a person does or doesn't have a traumatic brain injury is to have a special type of MRI done on the head in the days, weeks and months right after the injury.  However, a normal MRI will not typically show what's going on at the level of detail necessary.  That's why the doctor, whether a neurologist or family doctor ordering the MRI really should consult with a traumatic brain injury specialist who can set up the order for the imaging to be done in a way that can be addressed through a system called NeuroQuant.  This is a computer assisted way of looking at an MRI that can see and measure the kinds of anatomical changes like atrophies or weaknesses that occur after a traumatic brain injury.

However, unless the machine is set to the proper level of detail the MRI study will be useless.  That's why the victim of a traumatic brain injury needs to be in the hands of the right kinds of doctors who know about this technology and can order the kind of MRI which will detect the changes to the brain tissue the way that NeuroQuant does.

As an experienced personal injury attorney having handled many TBI cases in Virginia. I know how important this is.  First, having an MRI or another image which shows the brain tissue effects makes it easier for the diagnosis and treatment to move forward properly.  Also from the standpoint of presentation to an insurance company or jury having clear objective proof makes a lot of difference in being able to get the compensation and help that the client/patient needs.  The field of brain injury medicine is advancing rapidly.  You need to make sure if you or a loved one thinks they've suffered a traumatic brain injury in an accident to be in the hands of the right professionals to assist you who are aware of the latest technology like NeuroQuant.

If you have suffered a brain injury in an auto wreck, a slip and fall, or in another scenario, please call our experienced traumatic brain injury team at (757) 455-0077.

John Cooper

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