Comparison of T1-Post and FLAIR-Post MRI for identification of traumatic meningeal enhancement in traumatic brain injury patients

Tara S. Davis, Jennifer E. Nathan, Ana S. Tinoco Martinez, Jill B. de Vis, L. Christine Turtzo, Lawrence L. Latour

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Traumatic meningeal enhancement (TME) is a novel biomarker observed on post-contrast fluid-attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR) in patients who undergo contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) after suspected traumatic brain injury (TBI). TME may be seen on acute MRI despite the absence of other trauma-related intracranial findings. In this study we compare conspicuity of TME on FLAIR post-contrast and T1 weighted imaging (T1WI) post-contrast, and investigate if TME is best detected by FLAIR post-contrast or T1WI post-contrast sequences. Subjects selected for analysis enrolled in the parent study (NCT01132937) in 2016 and underwent contrast-enhanced MRI within 48 hours of suspected TBI. Two blinded readers reviewed pairs of pre- and post-contrast T1WI and FLAIR images for presence or absence of TME. Discordant pairs between the two blinded readers were reviewed by a third reader. Cohen’s kappa coefficient was used to calculate agreement. Twenty-five subjects (15 males, 10 females; median age 48 (Q1:35-Q3:62; IQR: 27)) were included. The blinded readers had high agreement for presence of TME on FLAIR (Kappa of 0.90), but had no agreement for presence of TME on T1WI (Kappa of -0.24). The FLAIR and T1WI scans were compared among all three readers and 62% of the cases positive on FLAIR could be seen on T1WI. However, 38% of the cases who were read positive on FLAIR for TME were read negative for TME on T1WI. Conspicuity of TME is higher on post-contrast FLAIR MRI than on post-contrast T1WI. TME as seen on post-contrast FLAIR MRI can aid in the identification of patients with TBI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0234881
JournalPloS one
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2020
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


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