A study of persistent post-concussion symptoms in mild head trauma using positron emission tomography

S. H.Annabel Chen, D. A. Kareken, P. S. Fastenau, L. E. Trexler, G. D. Hutchins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

102 Scopus citations


Background: Complaints of persistent cognitive deficits following mild head trauma are often uncorroborated by structural brain imaging and neuropsychological examination. Objective: To investigate, using positron emission tomography (PET), the in vivo changes in regional cerebral uptake of 2-[18F]fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose (FDG) and regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) in patients with persistent symptoms following mild head trauma. Methods: Five patients with mild head trauma and five age and education matched healthy controls were imaged using FDG-PET to measure differences in resting regional cerebral glucose metabolism. Oxygen-15 labelled water (H215O)-PET was also used to measure group differences in rCBF changes during a spatial working memory task. In addition, neuropsychological testing and self report of dysexecutive function and post-concussion symptoms were acquired to characterise the sample. Results: There was no difference between patients and controls in normalised regional cerebral FDG uptake in the resting state in frontal and temporal regions selected a priori. However, during the spatial working memory task, patients had a smaller increase in rCBF than controls in the right prefrontal cortex. Conclusions: Persistent post-concussive symptoms may not be associated with resting state hypometabolism. A cognitive challenge may be necessary to detect cerebral changes associated with mild head trauma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)326-332
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Neurology Neurosurgery and Psychiatry
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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