Epidemiology of blunt head injury victims undergoing ED cranial computed tomographic scanning

James F Holmes Jr, Gregory W. Hendey, Jennifer A. Oman, Valerie C. Norton, Gerald Lazarenko, Steven E. Ross, Jerome R. Hoffman, William R. Mower

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Study Objective: We sought to describe the epidemiology of emergency department (ED) patients with blunt head injury undergoing cranial computed tomography (CT) scanning for the evaluation of possible traumatic brain injury (TBI). Methods: Prospective, multicenter, observational study of ED patients undergoing cranial CT after blunt head injury. Patient's date of birth, sex, and race/ethnicity were documented before CT scanning. Individual patients were considered to have "significant" TBI if the official radiographic interpretation at the end of all imaging studies associated with the trauma was consistent with any of a set of predefined diagnoses. The relative prevalence of TBI among various prespecified groups from those undergoing cranial CT scanning was also calculated. Results: Of 13 728 patients who were enrolled, 8988 (65%) were men and 1193 (8.7%) had a significant acute TBI. Demographic findings associated with increased risk of TBI, among patients selected for scanning, included the following: age below 10 years (relative risk [RR] = 1.44, 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.19-1.77); age above 65 years (RR = 1.59; 95% CI, 1.40-1.80), and male sex (RR = 1.27; 95% CI, 1.30-1.43). Conclusion: Among patients selected for cranial CT scanning after blunt head injury, men, patients younger than 10 years, and those older than 65 years have an increased likelihood of significant TBI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)167-173
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Emergency Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine


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