Indication for imaging
In neck trauma, a normal clinical evaluation may clear the neck without diagnostic imaging, such as using the the Canadian C-spine rule. In practice, there is rarely any reason for a radiologist to decline an imaging request from a clinician for a trauma patient.
Generally within a couple of hours.
Choice of modality
Recommendations differ somewhat between children and adults:
- In children, CT of the neck in trauma is indicated in more severe cases such as neurologic deficits, whereas X-ray of the cervical spine is preferable in milder cases, by both US and UK guidelines. Swedish guidelines recommend CT rather than X-ray in all children over the age of 5. It is thus reasonable to indicate CT by a combination of higher severity and older age.
- In adults, UK guidelines are largely similar as in children. US guidelines, on the other hand, recommend CT of the neck in trauma in all cases where medical imaging is indicated, and that X-ray of the cervical spine is only acceptable where CT is not readily available.
- For a full list of contributors, see article Radlines:Authorship for details. . Creators of images are attributed at the image description pages, seen by clicking on the images. See
- Saragiotto, Bruno T; Maher, Christopher G; Lin, Chung-Wei Christine; Verhagen, Arianne P; Goergen, Stacy; Michaleff, Zoe A (2018). "Canadian C-spine rule and the National Emergency X-Radiography Utilization Study (NEXUS) for detecting clinically important cervical spine injury following blunt trauma ". Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD012989. ISSN 14651858.
- Julie C Leonard (2018-02-12). Evaluation and acute management of cervical spine injuries in children and adolescents. UpToDate.
- . Head injury: assessment and early management. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) (2014). Updated in June 2017
- . Traumamanual. Region Skåne. Last updated: 2018-03-29
- Amy Kaji, Robert S Hockberger (2018-05-24). Evaluation and acute management of cervical spinal column injuries in adults.