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Depth of lesion model in children and adolescents with moderate to severe traumatic brain injury: use of SPGR MRI to predict severity and outcome
  1. M A Gradosa,b,
  2. B S Slominea,b,
  3. J P Gerringa,b,
  4. R Vasaa,b,
  5. N Bryane,
  6. M B Dencklaa,b,c,d
  1. aKennedy Krieger Institute, Baltimore, MD, USA, bDepartment of Psychiatry, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA, cDepartment of Neurology, dDepartment of Pediatrics, eDepartment of Radiology, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA
  1. Dr M A Grados, Kennedy Krieger Institute, Psychiatry Department, 4th Floor, 1750 East Fairmount, Baltimore, MD 21224, USAmjgrados{at}


OBJECTIVES The utility of a depth of lesion classification using an SPGR MRI sequence in children with moderate to severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) was examined. Clinical and depth of lesion classification measures of TBI severity were used to predict neurological and functional outcome after TBI.

METHODS One hundred and six children, aged 4 to 19, with moderate to severe TBI admitted to a rehabilitation unit had an SPGR MRI sequence obtained 3 months afterTBI. Acquired images were analyzed for location, number, and size of lesions. The Glasgow coma scale (GCS) was the clinical indicator of severity. The deepest lesion present was used for depth of lesion classification. Speed of injury was inferred from the type of injury. The disability rating scale at the time of discharge from the rehabilitation unit (DRS1) and at 1 year follow up (DRS2) were functional outcome measures.

RESULTS The depth of lesion classification was significantly correlated with GCS severity, number of lesions, and both functional measures, DRS1 and DRS2. This result was more robust for time 1, probably due to the greater number of psychosocial factors impacting on functioning at time 2. Lesion volume was not correlated with the depth of lesion model. In multivariate models, depth of lesion was most predictive of DRS1, whereas GCS was most predictive of DRS2.

CONCLUSIONS A depth of lesion classification of TBI severity may have clinical utility in predicting functional outcome in children and adolescents with moderate to severe TBI.

  • traumatic brain injury
  • magnetic resonance imaging
  • Glasgow coma scale
  • lesion depth
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