Brain Neurorehabil.  2008 Sep;1(2):155-163. 10.12786/bn.2008.1.2.155.

Clinical Diagnostic Criteria of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

  • 1Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Konkuk University Medical Center & School of Medicine, Korea.


Traumatic brain injury is caused by an impact on the head and results in cognitive, physical, neurobehavioral or emotional impairments. The severity of traumatic brain lesion depends on the direction, the intensity of the acting force and on the mobility of the head during the impact. The main purpose of severity classification is on the prediction of prognosis and the accurate treatment. Mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) is mostly self-limiting and shows good prognosis. However, the discrimination between mild and moderate traumatic brain injury is sometimes challenging or confusing. For a definition of MTBI, it has been evolved in terms of period of loss of consciousness, memory loss, and alterations in mental state with or without focal neurological deficits. Any external mechanical impact can lead to MTBI. In addition, history related to the injury, neurological symptoms or signs, and radiological abnormalities are used to clinically diagnose MTBI. The diagnosis of MTBI is especially based on brief loss of consciousness, amnesia surrounding the traumatic event or posttraumatic amnesia, and transient focal neurological changes. Recently, the mainstream definition of MTBI includes patients with radiological abnormalities on computed tomography (CT) scans or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Therefore MTBI can be characterized by damage to the structure as well as functional disruption of the brain.


brain injuries; craniocerebral trauma; diagnosis
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