MRI Technology for Head Injuries and Concussions Scans

Audrey Spielmann, MD FRCP(C), discusses head MRI scans.

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Audrey Spielmann, MD FRCP(C), discusses head MRI scans.
Video transcript

Featuring Dr. Audrey Spielmann, MD, FRCPC

Duration: 2 minutes, 41 seconds

The most common type of injury in sport is a concussion as far as head injury goes.

What we can see is bruising to the brain, we can see blood within the brain, or blood around the brain basically. This typically occurs with impact and there are many sports where we see impact such as hockey, football, or if a patient has - a person - has fallen during skiing for example or skating.

And what we can see is this is an example of a normal brain and MRI shows us in great detail the brain matter and what MRI illustrates the best is subtle areas of hemorrhage within the brain that might not be identified on CT scan.

And the benefit of brain MRI is that we can see evidence of injury even if it was remote. This is an example of a normal brain, and we see the grey matter and the white matter, and no evidence of hemorrhage.

What we look for in the setting of trauma is little areas of hemorrhage at the grey white junction, something called diffuse accidental injury, which can be very subtle and only seen on MRI but result in severe brain injury.

I just want to show you an example of another brain; I just want to show you an abnormal brain. This is a patient who has sustained injury to the brain and there is a large hemorrhage or blood collection around the brain which is compressing and pushing the brain tissue. This is called a subdural hematoma.

With MRI we can image in multiple planes, and also MRI allows us to determine whether there is fresh blood on old blood, so we can determine the age of the hemorrhage as well with MRI.

It is extremely important to determine the extent of injury for concussion and other brain trauma, and obviously the clinical examination is very important in that assessment. But brain MRI is the best technique to look for subtle injury of the brain, if any are present.

If you have any questions on brain MRI, contact your family doctor, your sports medicine physician or an imaging centre.

Presenter: Dr. Audrey Spielmann, Radiologist, Vancouver, BC

Local Practitioners: Radiologist

This content is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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