Clival fracture

Last revised by Dr David Luong on 19 Apr 2022

Clival fractures are uncommon skull base fractures resulting from high-energy cranial trauma and are usually associated with other skull vault fractures and brain injuries.

For a general discussion, please refer to the article on basilar fractures of the skull.

Most fractures of the clivus occur in the setting of motor vehicle collisions and falls 1-5.

Fractures of the clivus occur due to severe head injury and are often associated with 1-5:

Clival fractures are rarely evident on plain radiographs 1-4.

CT with bone windows settings is the modality of choice to identify fractures of the clivus 1-5. Depending on the CT orientation, the Corradino CT classification for fractures of the clivus is of three types – longitudinal, transverse, and oblique 1-5. Often investigation of the cervical vessels is necessary 1-5.

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Cases and figures

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