Table 3

Criteria used to define mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) in the included studies

CriteriaNumber of studies (n, %)
Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS)
 13–1523* (63.8)
 14–157 (19.4)
 151 (2.8)
 NR5† (13.9)
Loss of consciousness (LOC)
 <10 min4 (11.1)
 <15 min5 (13.9)
 <30 min9* (25)
 No duration8† (22.2)
 No use of LOC10 (27.8)
Post-traumatic amnesia (PTA)
 <15 min1 (2.8)
 <30 min0 (0)
 <60 min4* (11.1)
 <24 hours3 (8.3)
 No duration7† (19.4)
 No use of PTA21 (58.3)
Initial altered mental state
 Yes3 (8.3)
Absence of focal neurology deficit
 Yes14 (38.9)
Triaged to non-contrast head CT using the (ACEP/CDC) evidence-based joint practice guideline3† (8.3)
Use of the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine definition (1993)6 (16.7)
Use of European Federation of Neurological Societies definition (2002)1* (2.8)
  • *Heidari et al 90 90 used the following mTBI definition: (1) a GCS score of 13–14; (2) a GCS score of 15 with LOC <30 min, PTA <1 hour; or (3) a GCS score of 15 without LOC or PTA.

  • †Korley et al 28 28 presented three different cohorts with different inclusion criteria. Only the mTBI definition of the case cohort is presented in the table.

  • ‡ACEP, American College of Emergency Physicians; CDC, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.