A concussion is a blow to the head or any other part of the body that causes a shaking or a twisting injury to the brain. It can be called a functional injury of the brain as it changes how the brain functions, but generally doesn't change how the brain appears. A CAT scan can help identify a structural injury to the brain, but not so much functional injuries. The reason why a CAT scan may be ordered is when an individual does not seem to be getting better after a concussive injury.
A person who has suffered a concussion may feel dizzy, nauseous, feel irritable, and have trouble concentrating. The signs and symptoms of a concussion are not relatable to visible damage to the brain on the CAT scan. More than 95% of concussions will not show any findings on a CAT scan.
However, If things take a turn for the worse such as a worsening headache, nausea and vomiting, seizures, weakness in the arms of legs, slurred speech, confusion, and drowsiness; you may need to be assessed with an advanced imaging study of the brain such as a CAT scan that might show abnormalities such as a bleed in the brain, skull fracture, or actual damage to the brain tissue which can be visualized.
So although a concussion may not show up on a CAT scan in the emergency room immediately after the injury, this diagnostic test can be useful to look for signs of brain injuries other than a concussion.
Our mission at Houston MRI & Diagnostic Imaging is to provide the patients and physicians with affordable medical diagnostic imaging in a warm and patient friendly environment. It is our goal to make the medical imaging procedure as pleasant as possible. Our promise to our communities is "hospital quality imaging without the hospital costs" with efficient service to both our patients and physicians.