Diffuse axonal injury

type of traumatic brain injury

Diffuse axonal injury (often shortened to DAI) is one of the most common forms of traumatic brain injury. In traumatic brain injury, the damage is focused to one area of the brain, in diffuse axonal injury, the damage occurs over a larger area of the brain. DAI mainly damages white matter, which makes it one of the major causes of unconsciousness and persistent vegetative state after head trauma.[1] It occurs in about half of all cases of severe head trauma.

Frequently, people suffering such damage fall into a coma; Over 90 percent of the patients with severe DAI never regain consciousness.[1] Those who do wake up often remain significantly impaired.[2]

Other authors state that DAI can occur in every degree of severity from (very) mild or moderate to (very) severe.[3][4] Concussion may be a milder type of diffuse axonal injury.[5]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Wasserman J. and Koenigsberg R.A. (2007). Diffuse axonal injury. Emedicine.com. Retrieved on 2008-01-26.
  2. Vinas F.C. and Pilitsis J. (2006). Penetrating head trauma. Emedicine.com. Retrieved on 2008-01-14.
  3. Vik A., Kvistad, K.A., Skandsen, T. & Ingebritsen, T. (2006). Diffus aksonal skade ved hodetraume. Tiddskr. Nor. Lægeforen. 126: 2940-44.
  4. Smith, D.H. and Meaney D.F. (2000). Axonal damage in traumatic brain injury Archived 2005-11-11 at the Wayback Machine. The Neuroscientist. 6 (6): 483—495.
  5. Sivák Š, Kurča E, Jančovič D, Petriščák Š, Kučera P (2005). "An outline of the current concepts of mild brain injury with emphasis on the adult population" (PDF). Časopis Lėkařů Českých. 144 (7): 445–50.{{cite journal}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)