Research Reports - Traumatic brain injury-related symptoms reported by parents: clinical, imaging, and host predictors in children with impairments in consciousness <24 hours

Dr. Emily A Evans, ; Dr. David AsuzuDr. Nathan Cook; Dr. Paul CarusoDr. Elise TownsendDr. Beth Costine-Bartell, ; Ms. Carla Fortes-MonteiroDr. Gillian HotzDr. Ann-Christine Duhaime

Journal of Neurotrauma
Published Online:21 Apr 2018

This study examined the relationship between acute neuroimaging, host and injury factors and parent-reported traumatic brain injury-related symptoms in children with non-critical head injury at 2 weeks and 3 months after injury. Data were collected prospectively on 45 subjects aged 3-16 years old enrolled in the Transforming Research and Clinical Knowledge in Traumatic Brain Injury (TRACK-TBI) study. Subjects had rapid recovery of mental status (Glasgow Coma Score(GCS)=15 within 24 hours), and had no clinical need for neurosurgical intervention. Intra- or extra-axial MRI lesions were categorized using Common Data Elements (CDE) definitions. Host and acute injury factors including neurobehavioral history, race, extracranial injuries, loss of consciousness (LOC), and GCS were analyzed while controlling for pre-injury symptoms, age, gender, and socioeconomic status. Parent-reported cognitive and somatic symptoms were measured by the Health and Behavior Inventory (HBI). 49% of children had MRI lesions, most of which were relatively small. LOC predicted increased cognitive and somatic symptoms at 2 weeks. At 3 months, pre-injury neurobehavioral history predicted increased cognitive and somatic symptoms. Neuroimaging findings did not predict parent-reported symptom severity, except at 3 months where extra-axial lesions were associated with less severe cognitive symptoms levels. While structural MRI lesions do not predict increased parent-reported symptoms in this population, age-specific child performance measures may be more sensitive outcome measures and require further study. Children with pre-injury neurobehavioral problems have more severe symptoms at 3 months and thus may benefit from longer follow-up and monitoring after TBI.

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