Advances in imaging explosive blast mild traumatic brain injury

H. Hetherington, A. Bandak, G. Ling, F. A. Bandak

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

5 Scopus citations


In the past, direct physical evidence of mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) from explosive blast has been difficult to obtain through conventional imaging modalities such as T1- and T2-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT). Here, we review current progress in detecting evidence of brain injury from explosive blast using advanced imaging, including diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), functional MRI (fMRI), and the metabolic imaging methods such as positron emission tomography (PET) and magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging (MRSI), where each targets different aspects of the pathology involved in mTBI. DTI provides a highly sensitive measure to detect primary changes in the microstructure of white matter tracts. fMRI enables the measurement of changes in brain activity in response to different stimuli or tasks. Remarkably, all three of these paradigms have found significant success in conventional mTBI where conventional clinical imaging frequently fails to provide definitive differences. Additionally, although used less frequently for conventional mTBI, PET has the potential to characterize a variety of neurotransmitter systems using target agents and will undoubtedly play a larger role, once the basic mechanisms of injury are better understood and techniques to identify the injury are more common. Finally, our MRSI imaging studies, although acquired at much lower spatial resolution, have demonstrated selectivity to different metabolic and physiologic processes, uncovering some of the most profound differences on an individual by individual basis, suggesting the potential for utility in the management of individual patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHandbook of Clinical Neurology
PublisherElsevier B.V.
Number of pages10
StatePublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameHandbook of Clinical Neurology
ISSN (Print)0072-9752
ISSN (Electronic)2212-4152


  • DTI
  • Explosive blast
  • FMRI
  • MRSI
  • MTBI
  • Neuroimaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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