Evaluating the Role of Reduced Oxygen Saturation and Vascular Damage in Traumatic Brain Injury Using Magnetic Resonance Perfusion-Weighted Imaging and Susceptibility-Weighted Imaging and Mapping
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The cerebral vasculature, along with neurons and axons, is vulnerable to biomechanical insult during traumatic brain injury (TBI). Trauma-induced vascular injury is still an underinvestigated area in TBI research. Cerebral blood flow and metabolism could be important future treatment targets in neural critical care. Magnetic resonance imaging offers a number of key methods to probe vascular injury and its relationship with traumatic hemorrhage, perfusion deficits, venous blood oxygen saturation changes, and resultant tissue damage. They make it possible to image the hemodynamics of the brain, monitor regional damage, and potentially show changes induced in the brain's function not only acutely but also longitudinally following treatment. These methods have recently been used to show that even mild TBI (mTBI) subjects can have vascular abnormalities, and thus they provide a major step forward in better diagnosing mTBI patients.
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