Currently, the diagnosis of TBI is time consuming, expensive, and often inconclusive. The current medical standard of care to evaluate a suspected TBI is to conduct a neurological assessment followed by structural neuroimaging, most commonly via computed tomography (CT) scan of the head.
The CT scan is widely available to assist clinicians in the evaluation of TBI, however, CT scans do not provide a clear and objective answer and scanning may increase the risk for radiation-induced cancer. Furthermore, over 90% of patients presenting to the emergency department with mild TBI, sometimes described as “concussion”, have a negative CT scan.1 Despite these limitations, nearly all patients are sent for a CT, which results in increased costs to the healthcare system and unnecessary patient exposure to radiation. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Center for Radiological Health (CDRH), The Joint Commission, The American College of Radiology, and the American College of Cardiology have recognized the overuse of medical imaging, especially CT scans.