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Articles

Articles are a collaborative effort to provide a single canonical page on all topics relevant to the practice of radiology. As such, articles are written and edited by countless contributing members over a period of time. A global group of dedicated editors oversee accuracy, consulting with expert advisers, and constantly reviewing additions.

33 results found
Article

Cerebral herniation

Cerebral herniation, also referred to as acquired intracranial herniation, refers to shift of cerebral tissue from its normal location, into an adjacent space as a result of mass effect. It is a life-threatening condition that requires prompt diagnosis.  Pathology There are a number of differe...
Article

Cervical spine injury

Cervical spine injuries can involve the cervical vertebral column, intervertebral discs and cervical spine ligaments, and/or cervical spinal cord. The cervical spine accounts for ~50% of all spinal injuries.  Epidemiology 5-10% of patients with blunt trauma have a cervical spine injury 1.  Pa...
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Coup-contrecoup injury (brain)

A coup-contrecoup injury is a term applied to head injuries and most often cerebral contusions and traumatic subarachnoid hemorrhage. It refers to the common pattern of injury whereby damage is located both at the site of impact (often less marked) and on the opposite side of the head to the poi...
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Diaphragmatic rupture

Diaphragmatic rupture often results from blunt abdominal trauma. The mechanism of injury is typically a motor-vehicle collision. Epidemiology Given that the most common mechanism is motor vehicle collisions, it is perhaps unsurprising that young men are most frequently affected. The estimated ...
Article

Eponymous fractures

There are numerous eponymous fractures which are named after the people who first described their existence (but see Stigler's law of eponymy) 1: Bankart fracture: glenoid Barton fracture: wrist Bennett fracture: thumb Bosworth fracture: ankle Chance fracture: vertebral Charcot joint: foot...
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Facial fractures

Facial fractures are commonly caused by blunt or penetrating trauma at moderate or high levels of force. Such injuries may be sustained during a fall, physical assault, motor vehicle collision, or gunshot wound. The facial bones are thin and relatively fragile making them susceptible to injury. ...
Article

Fall onto an outstretched hand

Fall onto an outstretched hand (FOOSH) is a common mechanism for wrist-forearm fractures, in certain cases with involvement of elbow structures, particularly in children. Some injuries that result from such a fall include: Colles fracture Scaphoid fracture Monteggia fracture-dislocation Gal...
Article

Fracture-dislocations of the radius and ulna

Fracture-dislocations of the radius and ulna illustrate the importance of including the joint above and below the site of injury on radiographic assessment. Most forearm fractures (60%) include fracture of the distal radius as well as an ulnar fracture. In some cases, there is associated disloc...
Article

Fractures of the thumb

Fractures of the thumb are important due to huge impact the thumb has on the overall function of the hand, an understanding of the types of fractures that occur is important, as treatment varies with fracture type. Pathology Types Metacarpal fractures include: intra-articular fractures Benn...
Article

Hemopneumothorax

A hemopneumothorax (plural: hemopneumothoraces) (or, less commonly, haematopneumothorax or pneumohemothorax) is a term given when there is concurrent presence of a hemothorax and pneumothorax. It is a variant of a hydropneumothorax.  Epidemiology Approximately 5% of patients with pneumothorax ...
Article

Hypoglobus

Hypoglobus refers to the inferior displacement of the globe in the orbit. It may or may not be associated with enophthalmos. Causes include: fracture of the orbital floor (most common) silent sinus syndrome orbital masses orbital foreign bodies thyroid ophthalmopathy
Article

Longitudinal versus transverse petrous temporal bone fracture

Petrous temporal bone fractures are classically divided into longitudinal, transverse or mixed fracture patterns depending on the direction of fracture plane with respect to the long axis of the petrous temporal bone. Some features may aid in distinguishing them.                 Longitudinal pe...
Article

Occult fracture

Occult fractures are those that are not visible on imaging, most commonly plain radiographs and sometimes CT, either due to lack of displacement or limitations of the imaging study. There may be clinical signs of a fracture without one actually being seen. MRI or nuclear medicine studies are som...
Article

Penetrating traumatic neck injury

Penetrating traumatic neck injury can be a potentially devastating injury due to the high density of crucial anatomical structures within the neck.  Epidemiology Young males are highly represented in patients with a traumatic neck injury. In one study, 11:1 ratio of males to females were ident...
Article

Phthisis bulbi

Phthisis bulbi, also known as end-stage eye, is an atrophic scarred and disorganized globe that may result from a variety of severe ocular insults.  Epidemiology In general, phthisis bulbi involves elderly patients, usually 65-85 years of age 7. Children and adolescents are only rarely affecte...
Article

Pneumothorax in supine projection

A pneumothorax does not display classical signs when a patient is positioned supine for a chest radiograph. Instead, the pneumothorax may be demonstrated by looking for the following signs: relative lucency of the involved hemithorax deep, sometimes tongue-like, costophrenic sulcus: deep sulcu...
Article

Posterior shoulder dislocation

Posterior shoulder dislocations are far less common than anterior shoulder dislocations and can be difficult to identify if only AP projections are obtained. A high index of suspicion is helpful. Epidemiology Posterior shoulder dislocations account for only 2-4% of all shoulder dislocations (t...
Article

Retrolisthesis

The term retrolisthesis (more rarely the synonyms retrospondylolisthesis or posterolisthesis) refers to posterior displacement of a vertebral body relative to one below. Pathology Causes include: trauma facet joint osteoarthritis congenital anomalies: e.g. pedicle underdevelopment Radiogra...
Article

Rib fractures

Rib fractures are a common consequence of trauma and can cause life-threatening complications. Pathology The 4th-10th ribs are the most commonly fractured 1. Fractures of the 1st-3rd ribs are associated with high-energy trauma 3. When the rib is fractured twice, the term floating rib is used ...
Article

Scalp hematoma

A scalp hematoma usually occurs following an injury at delivery although they are commonly seen with head trauma. Classification There are three types of hematoma, which are defined by their location within the scalp, particular their location as related to the galea aponeurosis and skull peri...
Article

Scapular fracture

Scapula fractures are uncommon injuries, representing ~3% of all shoulder fractures. Pathology Mechanisms of injury requires high energy trauma (e.g. motor vehicle accidents account for 50% of scapular fractures) direct trauma to the shoulder region indirect trauma through falling on outstr...
Article

Spinal fractures

Spinal fractures are usually the result of significant trauma to a normally formed skeleton, or the result of trauma to a weakened spinal column. Examples include: Jefferson fracture: ring fracture of C1 hangman fracture: bilateral pedicle or pars fracture of C2 dens fracture flexion teardro...
Article

Spinal hematoma

Spinal hematomas are a rare clinical entity and are often idiopathic. Prompt diagnosis and treatment are crucial, lest they cause permanent neurological damage. Identifying the location of the hematoma is important for treatment, as is distinguishing it, to the extent possible, from other entit...
Article

Splenic pseudocyst

Splenic pseudocysts, also referred as secondary splenic cysts, are acquired cystic lesions not delineated by a true epithelial wall. They represent the majority of the splenic cystic lesions, corresponding to approximately 80% of them (c.f. splenic epithelial cysts). The main causes are:  splen...
Article

Splenomegaly

Splenomegaly refers to enlargement of the spleen. The upper limit of normal adult splenic length is traditionally cited at 12 cm, but lengths upwards of 14 cm can be seen in normal, taller males 7. Massive splenomegaly is variably defined, including when the spleen is 5 standard deviations abov...
Article

Subluxed facet joint

Subluxed facet joint is the mildest form of facet dislocation in which the ligamentous injury leads to partial uncovering of facet joint (c.f. complete uncovering in perched facet). This results in mild anterior displacement of one vertebral body on another (anterolisthesis).
Article

Talar body fractures

Talar body fractures are a subtype of talar fracture, subdivided into: talar dome osteochondral fracture posterior talar process fracture lateral talar process fracture
Article

Talar dislocation

There are many types of talar dislocation given its multiple articulations: tibiotalar dislocation subtalar dislocation total talar dislocation talonavicular dislocation ​Chopart fracture-dislocation
Article

Talar fractures

Talar fractures are an uncommon injury, accounting for <5% of all foot fractures. Recognition of the unique talar anatomy is important for correct diagnosis. Pathology Location talar head fractures talar neck fractures talar body fractures talar dome osteochondral fracture posterior talar...
Article

Tension pneumothorax

Tension pneumothoraces occur when intrapleural air accumulates progressively in such a way as to exert positive pressure on mediastinal and intrathoracic structures. It is a life-threatening occurrence requiring both rapid recognition and prompt treatment to avoid a cardiorespiratory arrest. A ...
Article

Trauma in pregnancy

Trauma is a leading cause of mortality in pregnancy. Pregnancy increases the incidence and severity of abdominal trauma in females.  Epidemiology Trauma affects up to 7% of pregnancies, and the incidence of pregnancy in level 1 trauma patients is estimated to be ~2% 1.  Pathology Etiology 9...
Article

Traumatic spinal cord injury

Traumatic spinal cord injury can manifest as a wide variety of clinical syndromes resulting from damage to the spinal cord or its surrounding structures. It can result from minor injury if the spine is weakened from disease such as ankylosing spondylitis or if there is pre-existing spinal stenos...
Article

Unilateral facet dislocation

Unilateral facet dislocation is a relatively stable type of facet dislocation. Pathology Mechanism Flexion/distraction associated with rotation. The inferior articular facet of vertebral above moves over the superior facet of the vertebral below and becomes locked. It usually affects C4-C5 or...

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