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Acute Assessment of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury 

Acute Assessment of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury
Chapter:
Acute Assessment of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury
Author(s):

Linda Papa

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780190279431.003.0009
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date: 18 January 2020

Most patients with mild TBI (mTBI) are discharged from the emergency department (ED) after a normal clinical examination and a reasonable period of observation and/or following a negative head computed tomography (CT) scan. Studies indicate that about 30% of mTBI patients discharged from the ED will have symptoms at 3 months and up to 15% will be symptomatic at 1 year post-injury. Serum markers have the potential to better manage patients with mTBI. Unlike clinical variables, serum biomarkers offer a more objective measure of injury and could complement clinical decision-making. In 2018, the US Food and Drug Administration approved the use of a blood test combining UCH-L1 and GFAP for detecting lesions on CT scan in adults with mTBI within 12 hours of injury. Introducing biomarkers into clinical practice requires well-designed studies with adequate sample sizes, proper sample timing, stringent reporting of outcome measures, and well-described assay performance characteristics.

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