Pelvis (AP view)

Last revised by Andrew Murphy on 19 Sep 2021

The AP pelvis view is part of a pelvic series examining the iliac crest, sacrum, proximal femur, pubis, ischium and the great pelvic ring. 

This view is of considerable importance in the management of severely injured patients presenting to emergency departments 1. It helps to assess joint dislocations and fractures (i.e. iliopectineal line, ilioischial line, Shenton line) in the trauma setting, as well as, bone lesions and degenerative diseases.

  • patient is supine
  • lower limbs are internally rotated 15-25° from the hip (do not attempt this if a fracture is suspected) to demonstrate an AP view of the proximal femur
  • AP projection
  • centering point
    • the midpoint of the anterior superior iliac spine and the pubic symphysis 
  • collimation
    • laterally to the skin margins
    • superior to above the iliac crests
    • inferior to the proximal third of the femur
  • orientation  
    • landscape 
  • detector size
    • 35 cm x 43 cm
  • exposure
    • 70-80 kVp
    • 20-30 mAs
  • SID
    • 100 cm
  • grid
    • yes
  • entirety of the bony pelvis is imaged from superior of the iliac crest to the proximal shaft of the femur
  • obturator foramina appear symmetrical
  • iliac wings have an equal concavity
  • greater trochanters of the proximal femur are in profile

Internal rotation can be assisted with the use of sandbags over the lateral edges of the patient's feet. 

If one obturator foramina appear ‘closed’, the patient could be rotated away from the image receptor on that side. 

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1: anterior pelvis annotated
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  • Figure 2: female pelvis
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  • Figure 3: male pelvis
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  • Case 1: normal pelvis
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  • Case 2: open book fracture
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  • Case 3: acetabular fracture
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  • Case 4: ischial tuberosity avulsion fracture
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  • Case 5: posterior dislocation of the hip
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  • Case 6: Malgaigne fracture
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  • Case 7: pubic ramus fracture
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