New blood test rules out serious brain injury

CT scans could be cut by one third for patients with mild traumatic head injury

A blood test has been shown to be almost 100% effective in ruling out unnecessary CT scans in patients with concussion, researchers say. 

The test would help reduce the use of CT scans by about one-third in those presenting to ED with a mild traumatic brain injury, they say. 

The blood test measures levels of two biomarker proteins; ubiquitin C-terminal hydrolase-L1 and glial fibrillary acidic protein.

In the US trial the test was used within 12 hours of patients presenting with a suspected intracranial injury.

The trial included almost 1960 adults who had a Glasgow Coma Scale score of between nine and 15.

The test correctly identified 99.6% of those who did not have a traumatic intracranial injury on CT scan.

“Combined with existing evidence, our results suggest that up to a third of head CT scans done in