Nuclear medicine imaging in concussive head injuries in sports

David Vállez García, Andreas Otte

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Concussions in sports and during recreational activities are a major source of traumatic brain injury in our society. This is mainly relevant in adolescence and young adulthood, where the annual rate of diagnosed concussions is increasing from year to year. Contact sports (e.g., ice hockey, American football, or boxing) are especially exposed to repeated concussions. While most of the athletes recover fully from the trauma, some experience a variety of symptoms including headache, fatigue, dizziness, anxiety, abnormal balance and postural instability, impaired memory, or other cognitive defi cits. Moreover, there is growing evidence regarding clinical and neuropathological consequences of repetitive concussions, which are also linked to an increased risk for depression and Alzheimer’s disease or the development of chronic traumatic encephalopathy. With little contribution of conventional structural imaging (computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)) to the evaluation of concussion, nuclear imaging techniques (i.e., positron emission tomography (PET) and single- photon emission computed tomography (SPECT)) are in a favorable position to provide reliable tools for a better understanding of the pathophysiology and the clinical evaluation of athletes suffering a concussion.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNuclear Medicine and Radiologic Imaging in Sports Injuries
PublisherSpringer Berlin Heidelberg
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9783662464915
ISBN (Print)9783662464908
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015

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