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Eur Radiol. 2000;10(8):1227-32.

Comparison between standard radiography and spiral CT with 3D reconstruction in the evaluation, classification and management of tibial plateau fractures.

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Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, University Hospital, Lausanne, Switzerland.


The aim of this study was to compare the diagnostic efficiency of plain film and spiral CT examinations with 3D reconstructions of 42 tibial plateau fractures and to assess the accuracy of these two techniques in the pre-operative surgical plan in 22 cases. Forty-two tibial plateau fractures were examined with plain film (anteroposterior, lateral, two obliques) and spiral CT with surface-shaded-display 3D reconstructions. The Swiss AO-ASIF classification system of bone fracture from Muller was used. In 22 cases the surgical plans and the sequence of reconstruction of the fragments were prospectively determined with both techniques, successively, and then correlated with the surgical reports and post-operative plain film. The fractures were underestimated with plain film in 18 of 42 cases (43%). Due to the spiral CT 3D reconstructions, and precise pre-operative information, the surgical plans based on plain film were modified and adjusted in 13 cases among 22 (59%). Spiral CT 3D reconstructions give a better and more accurate demonstration of the tibial plateau fracture and allows a more precise pre-operative surgical plan.

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