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AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2004 Oct;183(4):959-68.

MDCT in emergency radiology: is a standardized chest or abdominal protocol sufficient for evaluation of thoracic and lumbar spine trauma?

Author information

1
Institute of Diagnostic Radiology, University Hospital Zurich, Raemistrasse 100, Zurich 8091, Switzerland. justus.roos@usz.ch <justus.roos@usz.ch>

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The objective of our study was to assess the diagnostic performance of a standardized 4-MDCT trauma protocol for the evaluation of the thoracic and lumbar spine in patients with multiple injuries.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

Eighty-two patients with multiple injuries underwent MDCT for the chest and abdomen using a standardized 4-MDCT trauma protocol (collimation, 4 x 2.5 mm). Secondary reconstructions targeted to the spine were performed (slice width, 3 mm; reconstruction interval, 1.5 mm). All spinal fractures were additionally scanned using a collimation of 4 x 1 mm, and these images served as the standard of reference for fracture classification. An additional 50 patients with no spinal fracture served as the control group. A total of 65 major spinal fractures were present in 55 of the patients with multiple injuries. Two observers (observer 1 and observer 2) independently evaluated all CT data for spinal fractures using a 5-point confidence scale, classified the different fracture types, and rated the image quality of spinal structures on axial images and multiplanar reformations.

RESULTS:

Image quality for axial images was excellent in 80% and in 68% using 4 x 1 mm and 4 x 2.5 mm collimation, respectively. Image quality of the multiplanar reformations was excellent in 75% and good in 65% using 4 x 1 mm and 4 x 2.5 mm collimation, respectively. Spinal fractures were detected by observer 1 and observer 2 with a sensitivity and specificity of 98% and 97% and of 97% and 97%, respectively. Interobserver agreement regarding the confidence scale for fracture detection was substantial (kappa = 0.80), and agreement between the different imaging protocols for fracture classification was excellent for observer 1 (kappa = 0.95) and observer 2 (kappa = 0.97).

CONCLUSION:

Accurate evaluation of the thoracolumbar spine is possible with targeted image reconstruction based on a standardized 4-MDCT trauma protocol of the chest and abdomen.

PMID:
15385287
DOI:
10.2214/ajr.183.4.1830959
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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