Role of MRI or CT Scan in Sports Head Injury

Role of MRI or CT Scan in Sports Head Injury

A recent research found that sports and related activities contribute to 21% of all traumatic brain injuries sustained by adults in the USA. The only way to ensure quick patient recovery is through fast and accurate diagnosis so that appropriate treatment can be provided.

When it comes to head injuries sustained due to sporting activities, there are advanced technologies that doctors can rely upon – CT and MRI. CT uses radiation to generate cross sectional images while MRI uses radio waves and a magnetic field to provide detailed images.

The first line of defence in such a case is the CT scan. A CT scan is the immediate option at hand to determine whether there has been any bleeding in the skull or brain. It can also help doctors to rule out a fracture in the skull or a serious brain injury.

An MRI scan on the other hand is the next step. It is a much more detailed evaluation of the brain. It evaluates the brain tissue and nerve cells. A doctor will order an MRI when they aim to look for bruising, injury or disruption in the brain tissue and nerve cells. It may evaluate the cerebral blood flow and volume; and even show the location of the cerebral oedema.

Usually a CT scan will be done first when a patient is brought in with a head injury; and, if it is not able to provide enough diagnostic evidence then an MRI will be ordered.