Doctors have learned a great deal more about Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) with the help of advanced neuroradiology technology. It turns out that TBI happens more often than previously suspected, and that it doesn’t take a big head injury to create a potentially serious injury to the brain. Standard Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Computed Tomography (CT) scanning have been used for some time now to detect larger fractures and brain hemorrhages resulting from head injuries, but smaller, sometimes microscopic, brain injuries may go undetected using these technologies alone. Before the development of advanced neuroradiology, these undetected injuries may have shown symptoms, but without the ability to positively identify the cause, doctors were left making educated guesses as to what course of treatment to follow.
Another type of brain injury, called Diffuse Axonal Injury (DAI), is also very difficult, if not impossible, to detect with standard imaging techniques. DAI affects the electrical circuits in the brain, essentially unplugging connections your brain needs to control movement, sensation, cognition, or other important functions.
Advanced neuroradiology imaging uses specialized, highly sensitive kinds of MRI and CT scans to find “hidden injuries,” like microscopic injuries (microhemorrhages) and DAIs. Specially trained radiologists read the results, and interpret them for the treating physician, so the patient can get correct treatment as quickly as possible.
For more information on this and other radiology procedures, please visit www.radiologyinfo.org.