Send to

Choose Destination
Emerg Radiol. 2011 Jan;18(1):31-8. doi: 10.1007/s10140-010-0901-z. Epub 2010 Aug 31.

Application of imaging guidelines in patients with suspected cervical spine trauma: retrospective analysis and literature review.

Author information

Northern Clinical School, Royal North Shore Hospital, University of Sydney, Reserve Road, St Leonards, NSW 2065, Australia.


Safe and efficient clearance of cervical spine injury in blunt trauma patients has been a controversial topic among health professionals. The increased availability of CT scanners in major trauma centers seems to be a factor that has led to increased number of unnecessary cervical spine imaging using this imaging modality. The objective of this study was to investigate the applicability and efficacy of a pre-test clinical criterion in order to stratify post-blunt trauma victims based on their risk of sustaining cervical spine injury and in turn recommend an appropriate imaging modality accordingly. Goergen's criteria (Australas Radiol 48(3):287, 2004), a pre-investigation diagnostic algorithm was retrospectively applied to 106 blunt trauma victims who presented to a level 1 trauma center in Sydney, Australia, and had a CT scan of cervical spine as part of their initial management. Overall, nine (8.5%) of patients sustained a significant cervical spine injury. All nine patients would be classified as high-risk victims according to the algorithm investigated in this study, warranting CT scanning. No patients with low-risk injuries were demonstrated to have a significant cervical spine injury. There was a statistically significant greater proportion of acute cervical spine injuries detected in the high-risk group (p value = 0.0024). Hence, using Goergen's diagnostic algorithm could reduce the number of unnecessary cervical spine CT scans ordered, while not compromising the quality of care in post-blunt trauma victims.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer
Loading ...
Support Center