Cranial computed tomography scan findings in acute head injury


  • Aska Farouq Jamal Department of Surgery, College of Medicine, Hawler Medical University, Erbil, Iraq



Rozhhalat Emergency Hospital, CT scan, Head injury, RTA


Background and objective: Head injury is a common injury seen in emergency departments. Early diagnosis and treatment may ameliorate the morbidity and mortality associated with intracranial injury. Computed tomography (CT) scan of the brain is a reliable imaging modality for identification of intracranial lesions in patients with an acute head injury. This study aimed to assess the cranial CT scan findings in patients with acute head injury, find out the main indication for requesting CT scan imaging, detect main etiologic factors and its distribution among different age groups.

Methods: This was a prospective cross-sectional study of cranial CT scan findings of 210 patients with acute head injury admitted to an emergency hospital in Hawler during three months. Numerical and graphical descriptors were used to summarize the data.

Results: The age of the studied patients ranged from 2 to 67 years with a mean± SD of 29.23±15.1 with males dominating the sample (78.6%).Road traffic accident was the main cause of injury (65.7%).The most common indication for requesting a CT scan was an altered level of consciousness and vomiting. Intracranial CT scan findings related to head injury were seen in 82% of victims of which fractures (50%) and intracranial hematomas (45.2%) were the main findings followed by combined injuries(31.8) and soft tissue injuries (31.6%).Incidental intracranial findings not related to trauma were seen in 6.2% of cases.

Conclusion: In patients with acute head injury, CT scan can be used as the initial imaging investigation as it can yield various types of head injuries and their consequences related to trauma.


Metrics Loading ...


Corando VG, Xu L, Basavaraju SV, McGuire LC, Wald NM, Faul MD, et al. Surveillance for traumatic brain injury–related deaths: United States, 1997-2007. Atlanta: US Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease and Prevention; 2011.

Edwards P, Arango M, Balica L, Cottingham R, El-Sayed H, Farrell B, et al. Final results of MRC CRASH, a randomized placebo controlled trial of intravenous corticosteroid in adults with head injury outcomes at 6 months. Lancet 2005; 365:1957–9.

Hukkelhuven CW, Stegerberg CW, Rampen AJ, Farace E, Habbema JD, Marshall LF. Patient age and outcome following severe traumatic brain injury: An analysis of 5600 patients. J Neurosurg 2003; 99:666–73.

Shiomi N, Echigo T. A guide to initial management of minor head injury. No Shinkei Geka 2004; 32:465–70.

Murray CJ, Lopez AD, editors, Global Burden of Disease: A Comprehensive Assessment of Mortality and Disability from Diseases, Injuries and Risk Factors in 1990 and Projected 2020. Boston: Harvard University Press; 1996.

Commissioned by the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence Head injury: triage, assessment, investigation and early management of head injury in infants, children and adults. United Kingdom: National Collaborating Centre for Acute Care; 2007.

Shivanand G, Atin K, Arun KG. Imaging of head trauma. In: Niranjan K, Veena C, Arun KG, editors. Diagnostic Radiology: Including Head and Neck Imaging. 3rd ed. New Delhi, India: Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers Ltd; 2010.

Fakharian E, Fazel MR, Tabesh H, Nabavi Z. Incidence of mild head injury, management, and expenses in Kashan,2003-2004. Feyz J Kashan Uni Med Sci 2007; 11(3):21–6.

Ashaleye CM, Famurewa OC, Komolafe MA, Amusa YB. The pattern of computerized tomographic findings in moderate and severe head injuries in Ile-Ife, Nigeria. West Afr J Radiol 2005; 12:8–3.

Saadat S, Yousefifard M, Asady H, Jafari AM, Fayaz M, Hosseini M. The most important causes of death in Iranian population; A retrospective cohort study. Emerg (Tahran) 2015;3(1):16–21.

Emejulu JK, Ekweogwu C, Nottidge T. The burden of motorcycle-related Neurotrauma in South-East Nigeria. J Clin Med Res 2009; 1:13–7.

Mebrahtu-Ghebrehiwet M, Quan LH, Andebirhan T.The profile of CT scan findings in acute head trauma in Orotta Hospital, Asmara, Eriteria. J Eriterean Med Assoc 2009; 4(1):5–8.

Akanji AO, Akinola RA, Balogun BO, Akano AO, Atalabi OM, Akinkunmi MA, et al. Computed tomography scan and head injury. The experience in a tertiary hospital in Nigeria. A cross sectional study. Med Pract Rev 2015; 6(2):1–15.

Gordon KE. Pediatric minor traumatic brain injury. Seminars in Pediatric Neurology 2006; 13(4):243–55.

Viola L, Zotta D, Martino V, Barbato R, Schisano Minor head injuries: One-year experience according to the new Italian guideline. Acta Neurochir Wien 2000; 142:1281–5.

Ogunsheyinde AO, Obajimi MO, Ogundare SM. Radiological evaluation of head trauma by computed tomography in Ibadan, Nigeria, West Afr J Med 1999; 18:33–8.

Zacko JC, Haris L, Bullock MR. Surgical management of traumatic brain injury. In: Winn HR. Youmans Neurological Surgery. 6thed. New York: Saunders; 2011. P. 3428.

Lee B, Newberg A. Neuroimaging in traumatic brain imaging. NeuroRx 2005; 2(2):372–83.

Zimmerman RA, Gibby WA, Carmody RF. Neuroimaging, clinical and physical principles. New York: Springer Verley; 2000.

Atabaki SM. Paediatric head injury. Paediatric Rev 2007; 28:215–24.

Obajimi MO, Jumah KB, Brakohuapa WO, Iddrisu W. Computed tomography features of head injury in Ghanaian children. Niger J Surg Res 2002; 4:84–8.

Ohaegbulam SC, Mezue WC, Ndubuisi CA, Erechukwu UA, Ani CO. Cranial computed tomography scan findings in head trauma patients in Enugu, Nigeria. Surg Neurol Int 2011; 2:182.

Thompson RJ, Wojcik SM, Grant WD, Ko PY. Incidental findings on CT scans in the emergency department. Emerg Med Int 2011; 2011:1–4.




How to Cite

Jamal, A. F. (2018). Cranial computed tomography scan findings in acute head injury. Zanco Journal of Medical Sciences (Zanco J Med Sci), 22(2), 273–281.



Original Articles