Heterogeneity of Brain Lesions in Pediatric Traumatic Brain Injury

child in hospital bed

pediatric_tbiA recent paper reported the findings of a multicenter study that evaluated neuroimaging indicators of traumatic brain injury (TBI) in children.

The Social Outcomes of Brain Injury in Kids (SOBIK) study compared the MRI scans of 72 children with mild-to-severe TBI to the scans of 52 children with orthopedic injury. The researchers evaluated qualitative metrics from the MRI scans like white matter hyperintensities (WMHs), regions of encephalomalacia or atrophy, and corpus callosum atrophy; they also evaluated quantitiative metrics like computed volumes of the total brain, white and gray brain matter, the corpus callosum, and the hippocampus.

The methodology revealed a link between the severity of TBI in the children and the prevalence of WHMs, deposits of granular pigment caused by a breakdown in hemoglobin (hemosiderin), and focal areas of encephalomalacia or atrophy. The researchers also observed volumetric changes in the brain - also related to severity of injury. The results show that neuroimaging can provide information on how a child's brain can change in shape and chemistry when the child experiences TBI.

Bigler E D, Abildskov T J, et al. Heterogeneity of brain lesions in pediatric traumatic brain injury. Neuropsychology. (July 2013).