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J Korean Neurosurg Soc. 2009 Sep;46(3):205-9. doi: 10.3340/jkns.2009.46.3.205. Epub 2009 Sep 30.

Time to recover consciousness in patients with diffuse axonal injury : assessment with reference to magnetic resonance grading.

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1
Department of Neurosurgery, Cheongju Saint Mary's Hospital, Cheongju, Korea.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

This study was conducted to investigate the correlation between the degrees of injury on brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and the time interval to recovery of consciousness in patients with diffuse axonal injury.

METHODS:

From January 2004 to December 2008, 25 patients with diffuse axonal injury were treated at our hospital. We retrospectively investigated the patients' medical records and radiological findings. We divided the patients into three groups according to the grade of MRI finding : grade I, small scattered lesions on the white matter of the cerebral hemisphere; grade II, focal lesions on the corpus callosum; and grade III, additional focal lesions on the brain stem.

RESULT:

Seven patients belonged to the grade I group; 10 to the grade II group; and 8 to the grade III group. The mean Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score of all patients at the time of admission was 7.28. Recovery of consciousness was observed in 23 of the 25 patients; the remaining two patients never regained consciousness. The time interval to recovery of consciousness (awake status) ranged from 1 day to 125 days (mean 22.1 days) : grade I group patients, within approximately 1 week (mean 3.7 days); grade II group patients, within approximately 2 weeks (mean 12.5 days); and grade III group patients, within approximately 2 months (mean 59.5 days).

CONCLUSION:

Our study results suggest a correlation between the mean time interval to recovery of consciousness in patients with diffuse axonal injuries and the degrees of brain injuries seen on MRI. Patients with grade I and II diffuse axonal injuries recovered consciousness within 2 weeks, while patients with grade III injuries required approximately 2 months.

KEYWORDS:

Brain stem; Consciousness; Diffuse axonal injury; MRI

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