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of the CRAINSCAN training manual, click
Since intracranial pathologies proximate to the calotte can
occur in different places, three measurements – frontal,
temporoparietal and occipital – should be carried out
on each side, i.e. six in total.
The principle behind CRAINSCAN is measurement of the optical
density of tissue. The device contains a laser source and a
neighboring photoreceiver which are both pressed to the patient's
head. Near infrared light travels from the laser source through
the bony skull and the uppermost layers of the brain to the
photo-receiver. If the light path is obstructed by a hemorrhage,
only a fraction of the irradiated light reaches the sensor.
are two fields of application for trauma patients:
Preclinical and clinical emergency medicine: Having applied
CRAINSCAN at the scene and obtained a positive optical finding,
the emergency physician can diagnose with a high degree
of certainty the existence of an intracranial pathology
proximate to the calotte. Particularly certain is the detection
of intracranial hemorrhages proximate to the calotte. Rapid
execution of computer tomography (CT) or, where appropriate,
magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) should follow. In patients
with indications for immediate treatment, this procedure
could thus shorten the interval until commencement of therapy
(e.g. neurosurgery), which can contribute to a significant
improvement in neurological outcome.
Repeated optical monitoring of patients in hospital, e.g.
following cranio-cerebral trauma, who have to be monitored
in case of delayed intracranial hematoma. The detection
can be made at the patient's bedside conveniently. In
such patients CRAINSCAN is able to confirm the need of
additional or advanced CT of the head.