for people ages up to 18 years (full criteria)
Healthy Volunteers
healthy people welcome
at San Diego, California and other locations
study started
estimated completion



Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the leading cause of death or disability in children. Each year in the United States, pediatric TBI results in an estimated 630,000 emergency room visits, 58,900 hospitalizations, and 7000 deaths. The incidence of long-term disability after severe TBI is high, with over 60% of children requiring educational or community based supportive services 12 months post-injury. Over 5,000 children require inpatient rehabilitation after TBI each year and an estimated 145,000 US children are currently living with disabilities after a severe TBI. Hospital costs for the acute treatment of children with TBI are estimated at ~$2.6 billion each year, while the gross annual costs accounting for long-term care and lost productivity approach $60 billion. Therefore, pediatric TBI is a major public health concern and new ways to diagnose and treat TBI are urgently needed.

Official Title

MRI Markers of Outcome After Severe Pediatric Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)


Severe pediatric TBI results in a range of neurocognitive and behavioral deficits with resultant impact on school performance, social functioning, and quality of life. Sixty percent of children suffer from long-term functional impairments after severe TBI, and more than 40% demonstrate deficits in multiple cognitive and psychological domains. Importantly, a recent meta-analysis revealed that rather than catching up to their peers in these domains, children with severe TBI fall further behind over time. These deficits in cognitive and emotional function have a major impact on the child's quality of life after a TBI. A large study recently reported that severe TBI patients demonstrated lower quality of life than children undergoing active treatment for cancer. Considerable variation exists in the severity of impairment within each cognitive domain from patient to patient, likely relating to the mechanism of injury, the type and location of lesion, patient age, and pre-morbid functioning among other factors. While clinical scales such as the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) are useful for assessing injury severity and may provide general prognostic information, they are insufficient to identify risk for specific cognitive deficits. Identifying predictors of impairment within specific domains would aid in directing rehabilitation strategies towards at-risk cognitive domains, thereby improving long-term function and quality of life. The investigators are partnering with an ongoing pediatric TBI trial (ADAPT Trial: Approaches and Decisions in Acute Pediatric TBI) and will also be enrolling past UW patients and healthy controls. Consistency in timing of follow-up scans, large sample size and access to the ADAPT Trial injury severity data and neuropsychological testing will give this study unprecedented power to assess the relationship between early MRI findings and subsequent atrophy, white matter injury, network connectivity changes and neurocognitive and behavioral impairments.


Brain Injuries Pediatrics Neuroimaging MRI Scans ADAPT Study Population


You can join if…

Open to people ages up to 18 years

Aim 1 Subjects:

  • Children 0 through < 18 years of age
  • Diagnosis of severe TBI (defined as a Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score less than or equal to 8)
  • Had an intracranial pressure (ICP) monitor as part of standard care

Aims 2 & 3 Subjects:

  • Children 9 through < 18 years of age with severe TBI
  • Consent for a follow-up MRI within 10 years of the time of TBI


  • Healthy children greater than or equal to 9 and < 18 years of age.

You CAN'T join if...

  • TBI & controls:
  • Anyone unable to tolerate a non-sedated MRI


  • Any history of head injury resulting in loss of consciousness
  • Standard contraindications to MRI (metallic implants, implanted electronic devices, pregnancy, etc.).


  • UC San Diego Health Sciences Center
    San Diego California 92103 United States
  • Phoenix Children's Hospital
    Phoenix Arizona 85016 United States


currently not accepting new patients, but might later
Start Date
Completion Date
University of Wisconsin, Madison
Study Type
Last Updated