CT of pelvic fractures.

Abstract

Although magnetic resonance imaging has become the dominant modality for cross-sectional musculo-skeletal imaging, the widespread availability, speed, and versatility of computed tomography (CT) continue to make it a mainstay of emergency room (ER) diagnostic imaging. Pelvic ring and acetabular fractures occur as the result of significant trauma secondary to either a motor vehicle accident or a high-velocity fall. These injuries are correlated with significant morbidity and mortality, both from the complications of pelvic ring fractures and from commonly associated injuries. The most commonly used classification of pelvic and acetabular fractures has been based on conventional radiographs that are, in the majority of cases, sufficient to determine the type of injury. However, because of the complexity of pelvic and acetabular fractures, precise pathological anatomy is not easily demonstrated by routine radiographs and in many cases details of fractures are not visible. Moreover, the insufficient co-operation of the patient or the difficulty of maintaining special positions can be overcome by using computed tomography. Spiral computed tomography provides information regarding the extent of the fractures and is complementary to radiography for ascertaining the spatial arrangement of fracture fragments. Spiral computed tomography is an effective tool for understanding complex fracture patterns, particularly when combined with multi-planar reconstruction two-dimensional (MPR 2D) reformatted images or three-dimensional images (3D) images. Including these techniques of reconstruction in routine pelvic imaging protocols can change management in a significant number of cases. Subtle fractures, particularly those oriented in the axial plane, are better seen on MPR images or 3D volume-rendered images. Complex injuries can be better demonstrated with 3D volume-rendered images, and complicated spatial information about the relative positions of fracture fragments can be easily demonstrated to the orthopaedic surgeons. The use of intravenous (i.v.) contrast material allows simultaneous evaluation of osseous and vascular structures within the affected area. Postoperative studies in patients with orthopaedic hardware also benefit from volume-rendered imaging. Volume rendering eliminates most streak artifact and produces high-quality images on which the relationships among hardware, bones, and bone fragments are well demonstrated.

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@article{Falchi2004CTOP, title={CT of pelvic fractures.}, author={Marco Falchi and Gian Andrea Rollandi}, journal={European journal of radiology}, year={2004}, volume={50 1}, pages={96-105} }