CT or MRI Scan Results
The cranial tomography (CT) scan is a type of X-ray that shows problems in the brain such as bruises, blood clots, and swelling. CT scans are not painful. People with moderate to severe TBI will have several CT scans while in the hospital to keep track of lesions (damaged areas in the brain). In some cases, a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan may also be performed. This creates a picture of the brain based on magnetic properties of molecules in tissue. Most people with severe TBI will have an abnormality on a CT scan or MRI scan. Because these scans cannot detect all types of brain injuries, it remains possible to have a severe TBI and be in coma even though the scan results are normal.