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Study: MRIs better than CT scans in detecting brain injuries

Montanans with brain injury concerns will be interested in a recent study that compares CT scans and MRI scans, and how well each technique can predict the long-term effects of brain injuries. CT scans are typically used to evaluate the extent of brain injuries, but the study suggests that MRIs are better suited for making such predictions.

The study, which was published in the Annals of Neurology, took into consideration 135 individuals over the course of two years. All of these people sought medical treatment for mild traumatic brain injuries, and all of the patients initially went through a CT scan.

The CT scan showed that 99 of the patients exhibited no signs of brain injury, but some of those same patients' MRI scans, administered a week later, turned up different results.

MRI scans showed that 27 of those 99 actually did have spots on their brains called "focal lesions," where bleeding occurs on a microscopic level. Detection of these focal lesions can help doctors better inform patients about the possible long-term neurological effects of a brain injury. That means an MRI scan is likely better than a CT scan in helping doctors and patients plan for the future.

The study suggests possible improvements in treatment and efficiency, since doctors can learn from MRIs which patients are at a greater risk for long-term consequences. Those patients could then be monitored more closely.

In any case, MRI scans and CT scans are both very expensive, and anyone who has suffered a brain injury because of another party's negligence should be aware of the legal options for obtaining the proper treatment.

To learn more about personal injury law and how it relates to medical treatment, feel free to stop by our Bozeman personal injury site. Our firm helps individuals get the medical treatment they need after a traumatic brain injury.

Source: UCSF, "MRIs Reveal Signs of Brain Injuries Not Seen in CT Scans," Jason Bardi, Dec. 18, 2012

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