Clinical Evaluation of a Microwave-Based Device for Detection of Traumatic Intracranial Hemorrhage

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the leading cause of death and disability among young persons. A key to improve outcome for patients with TBI is to reduce the time from injury to definitive care by achieving high triage accuracy. Microwave technology (MWT) allows for a portable device to be used in the pre-hospital setting for detection of intracranial hematomas at the scene of injury, thereby enhancing early triage and allowing for more adequate early care. MWT has previously been evaluated for medical applications including the ability to differentiate between hemorrhagic and ischemic stroke. The purpose of this study was to test whether MWT in conjunction with a diagnostic mathematical algorithm could be used as a medical screening tool to differentiate patients with traumatic intracranial hematomas, chronic subdural hematomas (cSDH), from a healthy control (HC) group. Twenty patients with cSDH and 20 HC were measured with a MWT device. The accuracy of the diagnostic algorithm was assessed using a leave-one-out analysis. At 100% sensitivity, the specificity was 75%-i.e., all hematomas were detected at the cost of 25% false positives (patients who would be overtriaged). Considering the need for methods to identify patients with intracranial hematomas in the pre-hospital setting, MWT shows promise as a tool to improve triage accuracy. Further studies are under way to evaluate MWT in patients with other intracranial hemorrhages.


Ljungqvist J, Candefjord S, Persson M, Jönsson L, Skoglund T, Elam M
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Journal of Neurotrauma
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