A Quick Look at the 3 Different Types of Traumatic Brain Injuries Assessment Techniques
Traumatic brain injury assessment is a major component of diagnosing brain-related injuries. Brain, being one of the most complex organs of the body, diagnosing the nature, extent, and impact of a brain injury become all the more difficult. TBI assessment techniques which help in accurate diagnosis are therefore crucial for providing a quick treatment to the patient. Currently, there are primarily three such TBI assessment techniques which provide a holistic analysis of the concerned brain tissues.
Traumatic brain injuries caused by accidents or falls are increasingly becoming a common phenomenon. Traumatic brain injury is a brain dysfunction caused as a result of a violent blow, bump, or jolt to the head or the body. Such brain dysfunctions disrupt the normal functioning of the brain and may cause amnesia, difficulty in recognizing things, mental confusion, blackout, dizziness, nausea, blurred vision, etc. The brain is probably the most complex organ in the human body, which is why injury at different spots of the brain triggers different symptoms. As a result, diagnosing the exact nature of the brain injury becomes difficult. In such cases, traumatic brain injury assessment becomes extremely crucial.
3 Different Traumatic Brain Injuries Assessment Techniques
Currently, the traumatic brain injury (TBI) assessment market is dominated by three TBI assessment techniques. These three techniques are discussed below:
Computed Tomography Scan or CT-Scan is a technique wherein imaging technology is used to take detailed images of the concerned organ. CT-scan of the brain involves the use of special X-ray beams to get a holistic view of the brain, its structure, its tissues, and the nature of the injury and its extent. CT-scan is, thus, a non-invasive technique wherein the X-ray projections are processed to get a two-dimensional output for better analysis by the doctors. In certain cases, where the traumatic brain injury assessment becomes difficult, CT-scans are done with the help of a “contrast”; a contrast is a type of medical dye that is used to distinguish one part or tissue of the body from surrounding areas to get a clearer picture. Using contrast, thus, helps the radiologists and neurologists to get a better idea about the damaged part of the brain.
- MRI Scan
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan is one of the most frequently opted traumatic brain injury assessment techniques. In this technique, images of the concerned bodily organs or tissues are obtained with the help of radio waves travelling through a magnetic field. In this non-invasive procedure, the patient has to lie down in a large tube which is essentially made of magnets. As a result, the water molecules in the body, including those in the brain, align themselves in a particular fashion. This alignment is captured in the form of images by the computer-generated radio waves which are passed through the magnetic tube. The images, thus, captured are processed by image processing machines. One big advantage of this traumatic brain injuries assessment technique is that it can also give out 3D representations so that the concerned brain tissue can be viewed from all angles to analyze the injury in a better way.
- Intercranial Pressure Monitoring
Unlike the first two, this traumatic brain injuries assessment technique is an invasive one wherein either a catheter, bolt, or a sensor is inserted into the cranium to monitor the pressure inside the skull. Bolts are the easiest to insert, and hence, are opted for when there is an emergency and a quick diagnosis of the brain injury needs to be done. Epidural sensors, on the other hand, are the least invasive of the three and are used when the injuries are between the skull and the dural tissue of the brain. Of these three, intraventricular catheters are considered to provide the most accurate brain monitoring and analysis. Catheters can also be used to drain out the excess cerebrospinal fluid that has accumulated in the cranium.
The Bottom Line
Any and every medical treatment follows the basic path of diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation. In this path, assessment of the injury or the ailment is one of the most major components of diagnosis. Traumatic brain injury assessment, thus, becomes crucial for the treatment of brain injuries and their monitoring. While there are other TBI assessment techniques, they are rather at a nascent stage. Researchers and medical experts are working on techniques like partial pressure of oxygen in brain tissue to provide for better TBI assessment.
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