Brain injury blood test determines if patients need CT scan

It's common for anyone in West Virginia who has sustained a head injury from a car accident, hard fall, or sports collision to be rushed to the hospital for a CT scan. However, about 90 percent of these image tests come back negative, even when patients are diagnosed later with a mild concussion or similar injury. Given the expenses related to CT scans and the radiation exposure concerns, it's understandable for there to be a search for other brain injury detection methods.

European researchers have developed a brain injury detection method only requiring a drop of blood. Within minutes, the test produces results that suggest whether or not someone with a suspected mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) may need to have a CT scan. The reason for developing the test is twofold: to reduce unnecessary CT scans and to properly detect brain lesions requiring medical attention.

Other mTBI detection tests using a single blood marker haven proven not to be sensitive enough to achieve consistently accurate results. European researchers developed their test by evaluating ER patients with suspected mTBIs. Four proteins showed up in higher amounts in patients with brain lesions detected on a CT scan. The team narrowed their focus down to two proteins present in blood within 24 hours following a brain injury that seems to reliably indicate that a patient has a brain lesion (H-FABP and GFAP) to simplify the on-the-spot testing process.

Brain injuries, regardless of when they are positively diagnosed, sometimes contribute to long-term rehab needs or permanent disability. If negligence is a suspected contributing factor, a personal injury lawyer may review medical tests, accident reports and evidence, and statements from witnesses to the incident that resulted in the mTBI. Victims may be entitled to fair compensation for loss of income, pain and suffering, and medical and long-term care expenses.

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