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Predictors of positive CT scans in the elderly trauma patients with minor head injury. Case reports and review of the literature


The purpose of this study was to determine whether there were characteristics of the trauma patient with a minor head injury. Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) of 13-15, that would predict a positive cerebral CT scan.

Materials and methods

An analysis of 300 patients with potential head injuries transported to our department was performed. The following characteristics were analyzed as possible predictors: 1. scene GCS, 2. emergency room GCS, 3. a change in GCS from scene to emergency room, 4. loss of consciousness, 5. focal neurological deficit.


50 per cent (150/300) of the patients underwent CT scanning of the head. CT scans were positive in 5,3 per cent (16/300) of the total group and 10.6 per cent (16/150) of those who underwent CT scanning. In the patients without LOC and ER-GCS of 13-15, all CT scans were negative.


Of all the patients with positive CT scans, 4 underwent emergent craniotomy: 2 for a depressed skull fracture with underlying contusion, and 2 for a temporal bone fracture and an epidural hematoma. Both patients had LOC and SC-GCS and ER-GCS of 15. We present our cases and finally we performed a review of the literature.


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Open Access This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Syrmos, N., Gramatikopoulos, I., Valadakis, V. et al. Predictors of positive CT scans in the elderly trauma patients with minor head injury. Case reports and review of the literature. Ann Gen Psychiatry 7 (Suppl 1), S302 (2008).

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