Diagnostic Highlights

Test

Normal Result

Abnormality with Condition

Explanation

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

CT scan

Normal brain and spinal cord

Normal brain and spinal cord

Cerebral edema, damage to brain structures

Cerebral edema, damage to brain structures

May be more valuable in diagnosing DAI than computed tomography (CT) scanning; preferred method of diagnosis over other procedures especially with gradient-echo sequences

Identifies structural lesions in patients with head injuries

Other Tests: Skull and cervical spine x-rays, arterial blood gases, and complete blood count

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