MRI Evidence for Altered Venous Drainage and Intracranial Compliance in Mild Traumatic Brain Injury.

Doctor with Brain Imaging

Mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) is the most common of the 1.7 million reported annual cases of traumatic brain injury in the United States, resulting in confusion, disorientation, impaired or loss of consciousness, and a host of neurological and cognitive impairments. While investigation through advanced brain imaging have yielded a few insights into how mTBI causes cerebral abnormalities due to mTBI, little research has explored how mTBI causes changes to cerebral microvasculature.

Recently, researchers studied 15 people with an mTBI and 15 control individuals to imaging from a 3T MR scanner. The scanner visualized their cervical venous vasculature via 2D-time-of-flight MR-venography. By visualizing the cerebral arterial inflow, venous outflow, and craniospinal CSF flow, researchers derived the cerebral venous drainage and intracranial compliance index and pressure.

Test results for mTBI subjects demonstrated increased venous drainage through secondary pathways, and suggest a correlation with reduced cranial compliance of these subjects. The study provided further evidence that mTBI affects individuals in ways not observable through conventional brain imaging.

Pomschar A, Koerte I, et al. MRI Evidence for altered venous drainage and intracranial compliance in mild traumatic brain injury. PLoS ONE. (February 2013).