Longitudinal temporal bone fracture

Case contributed by Bruno Di Muzio
Diagnosis certain


Acute head trauma (fall from her own height). Presents with bleeding from the right ear and confusion.

Patient Data

Age: 85 years
Gender: Female

CT Brain


Fracture through the temporal bone on the right with associated opacification of the mastoid air cells. Left frontal lobe subarachnoid hemorrhage also noted. 

Case Discussion

CT shows the path of the fracture line parallel to the long axis of the petrous bone through the mastoid and anterior wall of the external auditory canal. Nowadays, rather than describing a fracture as longitudinal or transverse, other classifications have been proposed as being more clinically relevant, specifically focusing on whether or not the otic capsule is involved.

See also temporal longitudinal fracture.

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