Sternoclavicular joint (serendipity view)

The serendipity view is a specialised radiographic projection utilised in the setting of suspect dislocations of the sternoclavicular joint. The projection is seldom used in departments with functioning computed tomography, however still utilised in postoperative imaging.

  • the patient is supine on the radiographic examination table 
  • axial projection
  • centring point
    • at the level of the sternoclavicular joint with a 40-degree cephalic angle 
  • collimation
    • laterally to include the medical third of both clavicles 
    • inferior to include the sternoclavicular joints and part of the manubrium 
    • superior to include the entirety of the sternoclavicular joint
  • orientation  
    • landscape
  • detector size
    • 24 cm x 18 cm
  • exposure
    • 60-70 kVp
    • 10-30 mAs
  • SID
    • 100 cm
  • breathing
    • suspended expiration
  • grid
    • yes (this can vary departmentally)
  • both sternoclavicular joints are clearly evident
  • sharp bony detail 
  • no evidence of motion 
  • use of appropriate angle evident via clear bony structures free from excessive distortion, an example of too much angle and inadequate collimation can be seen in figure 1
  • normal anatomy 1
    • the medial ends of the clavicle are equal distance apart in the same horizontal plane 
  • posterior dislocation 1
    • the medial end of the dislocated clavicle will be inferior to the mean horizontal plane of the sternoclavicular joint
  • anterior dislocation 1
    • the medial end of the dislocated clavicle will be superior to the mean horizontal plane of the sternoclavicular joint (figure 2)
  • this projection is rarely practised, consequently, it is regarded as an advanced radiographic investigation. The most challenging part of the examination is ensuring your patient is supine on the correct portion of the table to allow adequate room to line up the detector to the tube.
Radiographic views
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Article information

rID: 54319
Section: Radiography
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Rockwood view

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Cases and figures

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    Figure 1: serendipity view
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    Figure 2: serendipity view
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