✓ Twenty patients admitted for minor or moderate closed-head injury were studied to investigate the relationship between magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and neurobehavioral sequelae. The MRI scans demonstrated 44 more intracranial lesions than did concurrent computerized tomography (CT) scans in 17 patients (85%); most of these lesions were located in the frontal and temporal regions. Estimates of lesion volume based on MRI were frequently greater than with CT; however, MRI disclosed no additional lesions that required surgical evacuation. Neuropsychological assessment during the initial hospitalization revealed deficits in frontal lobe functioning and memory that were related to the size and localization of the lesions as defined by MRI. Follow-up MRI and neuropsychological testing at 1 month (13 cases) and 3 months (six cases) disclosed marked reduction of lesion size paralleled by improvement in cognition and memory. These findings encourage further investigation of the prognostic utility of MRI for the clinical management and rehabilitation of mild or moderate head injury.
Harvey S. Levin, Eugenio Amparo, Howard M. Eisenberg, David H. Williams, Walter M. High Jr., Craig B. McArdle and Richard L. Weiner
Harvey S. Levin, Steven Mattis, Ronald M. Ruff, Howard M. Eisenberg, Lawrence F. Marshall, Kamran Tabaddor, Walter M. High Jr. and Ralph F. Frankowski
✓ The majority of hospital admissions for head trauma are due to minor injuries; that is, no or only transient loss of consciousness without major complications and not requiring intracranial surgery. Despite the low mortality rate following minor head injury, there is controversy surrounding the extent of morbidity and the long-term sequelae. The authors postulated that consecutively admitted patients who fulfilled research diagnostic criteria for minor head injury and who were carefully screened for antecedent neuropsychiatric disorder and prior head injury would exhibit subacute cognitive and memory deficits that would resolve over a period of 1 to 3 months postinjury. To evaluate this hypothesis, the neurobehavioral functioning of 57 patients was compared within 1 week after minor head injury (baseline) and at 1 month postinjury with that of 56 selected control subjects at three medical centers. Quantified tests of memory, attention, and information-processing speed revealed that neurobehavioral impairment demonstrated at baseline by all means of measurement generally resolved during the first 3 months after minor head injury. Although nearly all patients initially reported cognitive problems, somatic complaints, and emotional malaise, these postconcussion symptoms had substantially resolved by the 3-month follow-up examination. The data suggest that a single uncomplicated minor head injury produces no permanent disabling neurobehavioral impairment in the great majority of patients who are free of preexisting neuropsychiatric disorder and substance abuse.
Harvey S. Levin, Stephen C. Lippold, Arnold Goldman, Stanley Handel, Walter M. High Jr., Howard M. Eisenberg and David Zelitt
✓ In a prospective investigation of neurobehavioral functioning in young boxers, 13 pugilists and 13 matched control subjects underwent tests of attention, information-processing rate, memory, and visuomotor coordination and speed. The results disclosed more proficient verbal learning in the control subjects, whereas delayed recall and other measurements of memory did not differ between the two groups. Reaction time was faster in the boxers than in the control subjects, but no other differences were significant. Ten subjects in each group were retested 6 months later and exhibited improvement in their neuropsychological performance as compared to baseline measurements. However, there were no differences in scores between the boxers and the control subjects at the follow-up examination or in the magnitude of improvement from baseline values. Magnetic resonance imaging, which was performed in nine of the boxers, disclosed normal findings.
Harvey S. Levin, David Williams, Marsha J. Crofford, Walter M. High Jr., Howard M. Eisenberg, Eugenio G. Amparo, Faustino C. Guinto Jr., Zvi Kalisky, Stanley F. Handel and Arnold M. Goldman
✓ Magnetic resonance (MR) imaging was performed in 94 patients who sustained closed head injury of varying severity. Results of MR studies obtained after the intensive care phase of treatment disclosed that intracranial lesions were present in about 88% of the patients. Consistent with the centripetal model of progressive brain injury proposed in 1974 by Ommaya and Gennarelli, the depth of brain lesion was positively related to the degree and duration of impaired consciousness. Further analysis indicated that the relationship between depth of brain lesion and impaired consciousness could not be attributed to secondary effects of raised intracranial pressure or to the size of intracranial lesion(s).
Experience of the Traumatic Coma Data Bank
Harvey S. Levin, Howard E. Gary Jr., Howard M. Eisenberg, Ronald M. Ruff, Jeffrey T. Barth, Jeffrey Kreutzer, Walter M. High Jr., Sandra Portman, Mary A. Foulkes, John A. Jane, Anthony Marmarou and Lawrence F. Marshall
✓ The outcome 1 year after they had sustained a severe head injury was investigated in patients who were admitted to the neurosurgery service at one of four centers participating in the Traumatic Coma Data Bank (TCDB). Of 300 eligible survivors, the quality of recovery 1 year after injury was assessed by at least the Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS) in 263 patients (87%), whereas complete neuropsychological assessment was performed in 127 (42%) of the eligible survivors. The capacity of the patients to undergo neuropsychological testing 1 year after injury was a criterion of recovery as reflected by a significant relationship to neurological indices of acute injury and the GOS score at the time of hospital discharge. The neurobehavioral data at 1 year after injury were generally comparable across the four samples of patients and characterized by impairment of memory and slowed information processing. In contrast, language and visuospatial ability recovered to within the normal range. The lowest postresuscitation Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score and pupillary reactivity were predictive of the 1-year GOS score and neuropsychological performance. The lowest GCS score was especially predictive of neuropsychological performance 1 year postinjury in patients who had at least one nonreactive pupil following resuscitation. Notwithstanding limitations related to the scope of the TCDB and attrition in follow-up material, the results indicate a characteristic pattern of neurobehavioral recovery from severe head injury and encourage the use of neurobehavioral outcome measurements in clinical trials to evaluate interventions for head-injured patients.