Document Type

Article

Department

Radiology

Abstract

Background:
Rib fractures are a major source of morbidity in patients with chest trauma. Computed tomography (CT) scout film is a low-dose image that is obtained prior to a complete chest CT study for all patients undergoing a CT scan. In this study, we evaluated the diagnostic performance of CT scout film vis-à-vis that of chest X-ray for detection of rib fractures using chest CT scan as the reference standard. Methods: A cross-sectional study was performed at the radiology department of Aga Khan University Hospital (Karachi, Pakistan) from October 1, 2013 to September 31, 2014. Patients who underwent CT chest for evaluation of thoracic trauma were included in the study. Sensitivity and specificity of chest X-ray and CT scout film were calculated. Results: A total of 207 patients were included in the study (193 were male). Penetrating and blunt thoracic injuries affected 104 (50.2%) and 103 (49.8%) patients respectively. On CT chest, 75 (36.2%) patients had evidence of rib fractures. Sensitivity and specificity of CT scout film for detection of rib fractures were 56% and 87.9%, while those of chest X-ray were 61.3% and 98.5% respectively. The overall accuracy of CT scout film and chest X-ray for detection of rib fractures were 76.3% and 85% respectively. Conclusion: Diagnostic performance of CT scout film for detection of rib fractures was comparable to that of the plain chest radiograph. CT scout film does not provide any additional information or advantage over a plain chest radiograph. In patients with severe thoracic trauma, CT chest remains the modality of choice for accurate delineation of rib fractures and associated internal injuries.

Publication

Cureus

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

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