Understanding PET Scans and Their Validity in TBI Diagnosis

One of the recurring defenses in TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) cases is the claim that PET (Positron Emission Tomography) scans are generally not appropriate for such diagnoses. Let’s delve deeper into the implications of an abnormal PET scan and the potential flaws in the DME’s (Defense Medical Examination) stance on them.

Dismantling the Defense’s Stance on PET Scans

If an abnormal PET scan has been done, it is essential to challenge the defense’s misgivings about it. Here are some potential questions that can be posed to the defense expert:

  1. Understanding PET Scan Protocols: Can you detail the specific standard protocol for administering a PET scan?
  2. Technical Aspects: Are you familiar with the machine’s XYZ dimensions and standard grid spacing?
  3. Comparison Group: Have you evaluated the plaintiff’s expert’s standard comparison group?
  4. Diagnostic Expertise: Are you qualified by any medical board specifically for PET scan interpretation or operation?

American College of Radiology (ACR) and PET Scans

While the ACR might argue against the typical appropriateness of PET scans for TBI diagnosis, when a scan has been done, its results shouldn’t be sidelined. ACR has set specific standards and qualifications for those administering and interpreting PET scans, many of which can be used to challenge the credentials of a defense expert.


The accuracy of a TBI diagnosis isn’t solely based on a PET scan, but an abnormal scan cannot be disregarded either. The onus is on the defense to prove their expert’s credibility and understanding of the PET scan technology and results, especially in the face of ACR standards.

For more information or legal assistance related to traumatic brain injuries, please reach out to the OTT Law Firm:

Contact Now For Free Consultation