Cervical Spine Computed Tomography Imaging Artifact Affecting Clinical Decision-Making in the Traumatized Patient
Aaron C Coats 1, Matthew S Nies*, 2, David Rispler 3
1 American Health Network, Indy Bone and Spine, Indianapolis, IN, USA
2 Michigan State University, College of Human Medicine, Grand Rapids, MI, USA
3 River Valley Orthopedics, Grand Rapids, MI, USA
CT scanning is an important tool in the evaluation of trauma patients. We review a case involving a trauma patient in which a cervical spine computed tomography (CT) artifact affected decision-making by physicians. The CT artifact mimicked bilateral dislocated facets (51-B1.1). On the basis of CT findings, the patient was transferred to a different hospital for evaluation. Discrepancy between the primary CT scan and patient physical exam prompted secondary CT scans and X-ray evaluation; neither of these studies showed osseous abnormalities. This case reinforces the necessity for physicians to formulate their diagnosis based upon multiple areas of information including physical examination, plain x-ray and subsequent advanced imaging, rather than relying solely on advanced imaging.
open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/) which permits unrestrictive use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Address correspondence to this author at the Michigan State University, College of Human Medicine, Grand Rapids, MI, USA; Tel: +616 366 8885; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org