Personal Injury Blog

SPECT Endorsed for Traumatic Brain Injury Diagnosis

The Canadian Association of Nuclear Medicine (CANM) has unanimously embraced a new method and set guidelines for brain single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) imaging for neurology and psychiatry. The news on this landmark decision was released on July 16, 2021.

The prominent scientific discipline approved brain SPECT imaging techniques for the evaluation of many general issues that affect millions of persons. This is breakthrough news, especially for litigants on personal injury, the Canadian Association of Nuclear Medicine, and Canada’s nuclear medicine body. In simple terms, CANM supports that SPECT has the ability to reveal the existence of traumatic brain injury (TBI), even in a situation where MRI and CT scans appear normal. Additionally, the test outcome may indicate if cognitive and psychological problems will be experienced over a longer period of time. 

In the past, the Canadian Association of Nuclear Medicine has not published any guidelines related to the technique. In fact, the current publication signifies the first time in a decade that these technical guidelines have been updated by any relevant expert society in the world. In that regard, the Canadian set of parameters relating to the technique can be confirmed as the latest scientific guidelines in the modern world. Consequently, the published report also indicates that the CANM has joined the European Association of Nuclear Medicine (EANM) in confirming the applicability of brain perfusion technique (SPECT) in the diagnosis and prognosis of traumatic brain damage even in the setting of normal CT or MRI. 

Through its guidelines, CANM has reiterated that as with all other techniques of imaging advancement, SPECT should be utilized in connection with clinical data and rational judgment. However, the published decision will clearly have an impact on how traumatic brain injury is diagnosed and treated, particularly in relation to persistent cognitive and psychological problems.

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