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Acta Neurochir (Wien). 1996;138(5):543-8.

Computerized tomography and prognosis in paediatric head injury.

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  • 1Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery, Tartu University Hospital, Estonia.


The authors have analysed the computerized tomography (CT) findings and their correlation with the clinical state, early and late outcome in children and adolescents with head injuries (HI). This study represents clinical and CT data of 82 consecutive HI patients under 18 years of age. Among them 51 (62%) were boys and 31 (38%) girls. The application of CT to the evaluation of the morphologic manifestations of HI in children has shown some differences in forms and mechanisms of injury and in outcome compared to adults. In the paediatric HI the most frequent finding was diffuse brain swelling with CT evidence of ventricular and cisternal compression or obliteration. Prognostically the most unfavourable findings were shearing injury, intracerebral and subdural haematomas combined with brain swelling and parenchymal damage. According to the Lidcombe impairment scale, outcome from severe paediatric HI was determined in the 3rd and 6th months, one year and 2 years after the injury. The outcome two years after severe HI varied to a great extent and was better in children than in adults. Although there was long-term disruption of the patient's quality of life, our data show that as there are no predictors of individual outcomes in child HI, no child should be excluded from early and long-term rehabilitation.

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