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Do sideline concussion assessments predict subsequent neurocognitive impairment after sport-related concussion?

J Athl Train. 2017 Jul;

52(7):676-681.

Sufrinko, A., McAllister-Deitrick, J., Womble, M. and Kontos, A..

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Abstract:

CONTEXT: Comprehensive, multi-domain assessment is the standard of care after sport-related concussion. However, the relationship between performance on sideline concussion-assessment tools and in-office computerized neurocognitive testing has received little attention, and the prognostic utility of sideline measures is unknown. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate concurrent impairment on commonly used concussion measures 24 to 48 hours postinjury while also determining the predictive utility of sideline measures on computerized neurocognitive testing in the acute to subacute recovery periods postinjury. DESIGN: Case-control study. SETTING: High school and collegiate athletics. PATIENTS OR OTHER PARTICIPANTS: A total of 125 high school and college-aged athletes (85 males, 40 females) 14 to 23 (16.8 +/- 2.21) years old. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S): Participants were administered sideline concussion-assessment measures (ie, Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing [ImPACT], Standardized Assessment of Concussion [SAC], and Balance Error Scoring System [BESS]) 24 to 48 hours postinjury and completed ImPACT and the Post-Concussion Symptom Scale 5 to 7 and 10 to 14 days postinjury. Outcome measures were the ImPACT composite (verbal memory, visual memory, reaction time, visual-motor speed), SAC, and BESS scores and total symptom score on the Post-Concussion Symptom Scale. RESULTS: Participants demonstrated heterogeneous patterns of impairment on measures 24 to 48 hours postinjury, with the most common pattern being impairment on ImPACT and the SAC. Performance on the SAC and BESS at 24 to 48 hours after injury did not distinguish between those with and those without impairment on ImPACT at 5 to 7 days postinjury (chi2 = 5.076, P = .079) or 10 to 14 days postinjury (chi2 = 2.04, P = .361). CONCLUSIONS: More than 90% of athletes were impaired on at least 1 sideline or neurocognitive measure 24 to 48 hours after sport-related concussion. Although sideline measures are useful for concussion diagnosis, they are not suitable for prognostication of impairment or the presence of symptoms 1 to 2 weeks postinjury. KEYWORDS: balance testing; neurocognitive testing; sideline measures PMID: 28535099 PMCID: PMC5517123 [Available on 2018-07-01] DOI: 10.4085/1062-6050-52.4.01

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