Imaging suspected cervical spine injury: plain radiography or computed tomography? Systematic review

Cain, Gavin and Shepherdson, Jane and Elliott, Vicki and Svensson, Jon and Brennan, Patrick (2010) Imaging suspected cervical spine injury: plain radiography or computed tomography? Systematic review. Radiography, 16 (1). pp. 68-77. ISSN 1532-2831

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.radi.2009.09.001

Abstract

Aim: (1) to establish which modality offers the greatest accuracy in the detection of cervical spine injury (CSI) Following trauma: plain radiography or computed tomography (CT), and (2) make an evidence-based recommendation for the initial imaging modality of choice. Method: A systematic literature review was performed to identify primary research studies which compare the diagnostic accuracy of plain radiography and CT with the results of a reference standard in the detection of CSI. A search of MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, Science Direct and Pubmed Central databases was conducted. Results: Ten studies were identified. Critical appraisal identified limitations among all studies. There was heterogeneity in the sensitivity estimates for plain radiography, whereas estimates for CT were consistently high. Examination of the reported sensitivities shows that CT outperforms plain radiography in the detection of CSI. Conclusion: CT is superior to plain radiography in the detection of CSI. However, the optimal imaging strategy depends on the patients' relative risk of injury. If at high-risk cervical CT is indicated. If at low-risk the increased cost and radiation exposure mean that screening CT may not be warranted, good-quality plain radiographs are sufficient.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Cervical spine, Injury, Trauma, Computed Tomography, Plain Radiography, Diagnostic Accuracy
Faculty: ARCHIVED Faculty of Health, Social Care & Education (until September 2018)
Depositing User: Repository Admin
Date Deposited: 20 Sep 2011 13:48
Last Modified: 14 Nov 2019 16:04
URI: http://arro.anglia.ac.uk/id/eprint/142750

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