Serial MRI and neurobehavioural findings after mild to moderate closed head injury.
Fifty patients who sustained mild to moderate closed head injury (CHI) underwent a CT scan, MRI, and neurobehavioural testing. At baseline 40 patients had intracranial hyperintensities detected by MRI which predominated in the frontal and temporal regions, whereas 10 patients had lesions detected by CT. Neurobehavioural data obtained during the first admission to hospital disclosed no distinctive pattern in subgroups of patients characterised by lesions confined to the frontal, temporal, or frontotemporal regions, whereas all three groups exhibited pervasive deficits in relation to normal control subjects. The size of extraparenchymal lesion was significantly related to the initial Glasgow Coma Scale score, whereas this relation was not present in parenchymal lesions. One and three month follow up MRI findings showed substantial resolution of lesion while neuropsychological data reflected impressive recovery. The follow up data disclosed a trend from pervasive deficits to more specific impairments which were inconsistently related to the site of brain lesion. These results corroborate and extend previous findings, indicating that intracranial lesions detected by MRI are present in most patients hospitalised after mild to moderate CHI. Individual differences in the relation between site of lesion and the pattern of neuropsychological findings, which persist over one to three months after mild to moderate CHI, remain unexplained.