Interpreting head CT’s can be daunting.  But it doesn’t have to be.  Just remember, “Blood Can Be Very Bad”.

Blood

–       blood up to 1 week old looks hyperdense to brain

–       blood 1-4 weeks old looks isodense to brain

–       blood after 4 weeks old looks hypodense to brain

–       Types of intracranial hemorrhage: epidural, subdural, intraparenchymal/intracerebral, intraventricular, or subarachnoid

Cistern

–       Is there blood?

–       Is it open?

–       Types of cisterns to identify: sylvian, quadrigeminal, suprasellar, and circummesencephalic

Brain

–       Check for symmetry

–       Check for grey-white differentiation

–       Check for shift

–       Check for hyper/hypodensity

Ventricles

–       Is there blood?

–       Is there compression/shift?

–       Is there dilation?

–       Type of ventricles to identify: lateral, 3rd and 4th ventricles

Bone

–       Fracture?