J Korean Soc Biol Psychiatry.  2002 Dec;9(2):152-158.

Reduced Regional Cerebral Blood Flow in Patients with Traumatic Brain Injury Who Had No Structural Abnormalities on Magnetic Resonance Imaging : A Quantitative Evaluation of Tc-99m-ECD SPECT Findings

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, Ajou University, Suwon, Korea. ykchung@ajou.ac.kr


BACKGROUND & PURPOSE: Neuropsychological disorders after traumatic brain injury(TBI) are poorly correlated with structural lesions detected by structural neuroimaging techniques such as computed tomography(CT) scan or magnetic resonance imaging(MRI). It is well known that patients with TBI have cognitive and behavioral disorders even in the absence of structural lesions of the brain. This study investigated whether there are abnormalities of regional cerebral blood flow(rCBF) in TBI patients without structural abnormality on MRI, using technetium 99m ethyl cysteinate dimer(Tc-99m-ECD) single photon emission computed tomography(SPECT) scans. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Twenty-eight TBI patients without structural abnormality on MRI(mild, n=13/moderate, n=9/severe, n=6) and fifteen normal controls were scanned by SPECT. A voxel-based analysis using statistical parametric mapping(SPM) was performed to compare the patients with the normal controls.
rCBF was reduced in the right uncus and the right lateral orbitofrontal gyrus in the TBI patients. However, no increase of rCBF was noted in the patients in comparison to the normal controls.
These results suggest that the TBI patients, even in the absence of structural lesion of the brain, may have dysfunction of the brain, particularly of the orbitofrontal and anterior pole of the temporal cortex. They also suggest that SPECT can be a useful method to identify brain dysfunctions in combination with structural brain imaging and neuropsychological tests.

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