Volume 46, Number 4 (10/2009) (page : 365-9) Clinical Article
Detection of Traumatic Cerebral Microbleeds by Susceptibility-Weighted Image of MRI
Jong-Hwa Park, MD;Seung-Won Park, MD;Suk-Hyung Kang, MD;Taek-Kyun Nam, MD;Byung-Kook Min, MD; and Sung-Nam Hwang, MD
Department of Neurosurgery, College of Medicine, Chung-Ang University, Yongsan Hospital, Seoul, Korea

Objective : Susceptibility-weighted image (SWI) is a sensitive magnetic resonance image (MRI) technique to detect cerebral microbleeds (MBLs), which would not be detected by conventional MRI. We performed SWI to detect MBLs and investigated its usefulness in the evaluation of mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) patients. 

Methods : From December 2006 to June 2007, twenty-one MTBI patients without any parenchymal hemorrhage on conventional MRI were selected. Forty-two patients without trauma were selected for control group. According to the presence of MBLs, we divided the MTBI group into MBLs positive [SWI (+)] and negative [SWI (-)] group. Regional distribution of MBLs and clinical factors were compared between groups. 

Results : Fifty-one MBLs appeared in 16 patients of SWI (+) group and 16 MBLs in 10 patients of control group [control (+)], respectively. In SWI (+) group, MBLs were located more frequently in white matters than in deep nucleus different from the control (+) group (p < 0.05). Nine patients (56.3%) of SWI (+) group had various neurological deficits (disorientation in 4, visual field defect in 2, hearing difficulty in 2 and Parkinson syndrome in 1). Initial Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS)/mean Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS) were 13.9 ± 1.5 / 4.7 ± 0.8 and 15.0 ± 0.0 / 5.0 ± 0.0 in SWI (+) and SWI (-) groups, respectively (p < 0.05). 

Conclusion : Traumatic cerebral MBLs showed characteristic regional distribution, and seemed to have an importance on the initial neurological status and the prognosis. SWI is useful for detection of traumatic cerebral MBLs, and can provide etiologic evidences for some post-traumatic neurologic deficits which were unexplainable with conventional MRI. 

Key words : Traumatic brain injury;Susceptibility-weighted image;Microbleeds.