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(NIH): Using advanced imaging, researchers have uncovered new information regarding traumatic microbleeds, which appear as small, dark lesions on MRI scans after head injury but are typically too small to be detected on CT scans. The findings published in Brain suggest that traumatic microbleeds are a form of injury to brain blood vessels and may predict worse outcomes. The study was conducted in part by scientists at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), part of the National Institutes of Health.
This study, which involved researchers from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York and the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland, included 439 adults who experienced head injury and were treated in the emergency department. The subjects underwent MRI scans within 48 hours of injury, and again during four subsequent visits. Participants also completed behavioral and outcome questionnaires.
- The results showed that 31% of all study participants had evidence of microbleeds on their brain scans.
- More than half (58%) of participants with severe head injury showed microbleeds as did 27% of mild cases.
- The microbleeds appeared as either linear streaks or dotted, also referred to as punctate, lesions. The majority of patients who exhibited microbleeds had both types.
- The findings also revealed that the frontal lobes were the brain region most likely to show microbleeds.
- The patients with microbleeds were more likely to have a greater level of disability compared to patients without microbleeds.
The authors note that microbleeds following brain injury may be a potential biomarker for identifying which patients may be candidates for treatments that target vascular injury… (Excerpts from National Institute of Health [NIH]).
Dr KK Aggarwal
Padma Shri Awardee
President Confederation of Medical Associations in Asia and Oceania (CMAAO)
Group Editor-in-Chief IJCP Publications
President Heart Care Foundation of India
Past National President IMA