Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a common condition with many potential acute and chronic neurological consequences. Standard initial radiographic evaluation includes noncontrast head CT scanning to rapidly evaluate for pathology that might require intervention. The availability of fast, relatively inexpensive CT imaging has fundamentally changed the clinician’s ability to noninvasively visualize neuroanatomy. However, in the context of TBI, limitations of head CT without contrast include poor prognostic ability, inability to analyze cerebral perfusion status, and poor visualization of underlying posttraumatic changes to brain parenchyma. Here, the authors review emerging advanced imaging for evaluation of both acute and chronic TBI and include QuickBrain MRI as an initial imaging modality. Dynamic susceptibility-weighted contrast-enhanced perfusion MRI, MR arterial spin labeling, and perfusion CT are reviewed as methods for examining cerebral blood flow following TBI. The authors evaluate MR-based diffusion tensor imaging and functional MRI for prognostication of recovery post-TBI. Finally, MR elastography, MR spectroscopy, and convolutional neural networks are examined as future tools in TBI management. Many imaging technologies are being developed and studied in TBI, and some of these may hold promise in improving the understanding and management of TBI. ABBREVIATIONS ASL = arterial spin labeling; CNN = convolutional neural network; CTP = perfusion CT; DAI = diffuse axonal injury; DMN = default mode network; DOC = disorders of consciousness; DTI = diffusion tensor imaging; FA = fractional anisotropy; fMRI = functional MRI; GCS = Glasgow Coma Scale; MD = mean diffusivity; MRE = MR elastography; MRS = MR spectroscopy; mTBI = mild TBI; NAA = N-acetylaspartate; SWI = susceptibility-weighted imaging; TBI = traumatic brain injury; UHF = ultra-high field.

References

PubMed