Diffuse axonal injury (DAI) as defined by detailed microscopic examination was found in 34 of 80 consecutive cases of head trauma surviving for a sufficient length of time to be clinically assessed by the Royal Adelaide Hospital Neurosurgery Unit. The findings indicate that there is a spectrum of axonal injury and that one third of cases of DAI recovered sufficiently to talk between the initial head injury producing coma and subsequent death. The macroscopic "marker" lesions in the corpus callosum and dorsolateral quadrants of the brainstem were present in only 15/34 of the cases and represented the most severe end of the spectrum of DAI.
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