Articles

Articles are a collaborative effort to provide a single canonical page on all topics relevant to the practice of radiology. As such, articles are written and edited by countless contributing members over a period of time. A global group of dedicated editors oversee accuracy, consulting with expert advisers, and constantly reviewing additions.

42 results found
Article

Blunt cerebrovascular injury

Blunt cerebrovascular injury (BCVI) is an uncommon but serious consequence of blunt trauma to the head and neck. Epidemiology It is often part of multi-trauma with a significant series of blunt trauma CTA reporting an incidence of approximately 1% 3. A large systematic review and meta-analysis...
Article

Bowel and mesenteric trauma

Bowel and mesenteric trauma can result from blunt force, penetrating and iatrogenic trauma. Epidemiology The bowel and mesentery are injured in ~2.5% (range 0.3-5%) of blunt force abdominal trauma 1,3,5,8. However not surprisingly, bowel and mesenteric injuries are more frequent after penetrat...
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Brachial plexus injuries

Brachial plexus injuries are a spectrum of upper limb neurological deficits secondary to partial or complete injury to the brachial plexus, which provides the nerve supply of upper limb muscles.  Clinical presentation Trauma, usually by motor vehicle accidents, involves severe traction on the ...
Article

Cerebral haemorrhagic contusion

Cerebral haemorrhagic contusions are a type of intracerebral haemorrhage and are common in the setting of significant head injury. They are usually characterised on CT as hyperdense foci in the frontal lobes adjacent to the floor of the anterior cranial fossa and in the temporal poles. Epidemio...
Article

Cervical spine floating pillar

A floating pillar, also referred as pedicolaminar fracture-separation injury, is characterised by fractures through the pedicle and lamina of a cervical spine vertebrae creating a free-floating articular pillar fragment. It is an unstable cervical spine fracture that results from hyperflexion–la...
Article

Congenital insensitivity to pain

Congenital insensitivity to pain (CIP) refers to group of rare hereditary sensory and autonomic neuropathies (HSANs) characterised by an inability to feel pain 1. Terminology Although not clearly defined in the literature, CIP is not one specific diagnosis, but describes symptoms common to man...
Article

Coraco-clavicular ligament injury

Coracoclavicular (CC) ligament injury is common with shoulder trauma. It is considered part of the spectrum of acromioclavicular joint injuries 2 and is not often an isolated injury. It is also often injured with clavicular fractures.  This injury is easy to miss, especially with presence of an...
Article

CT hypotension complex

CT hypotension complex refers to the predominantly abdominal imaging features that occur in the context of profound hypotension. Multiple abdominal organs can display atypical appearances not related to the initial trauma but reflect alterations in perfusion secondary to hypovolemia which affect...
Article

Diffuse axonal injury

Diffuse axonal injury (DAI), also known as traumatic axonal injury (TAI), is a severe form of traumatic brain injury due to shearing forces. It is a potentially difficult diagnosis to make on imaging alone, especially on CT as the finding can be subtle, however, it has the potential to result in...
Article

Extrapleural haematoma

Extrapleural haematomas are uncommon and usually seen in the context of rib fracture, subclavian venous catheter traumatic insertion, and blunt chest injury. Pathology Extrapleural haematomas result from the accumulation of blood in the extrapleural space where the overlying extrapleural fat i...
Article

Flail chest

Flail chest or flail thoracic segment occurs when three or more contiguous ribs are fractured in two or more places. Clinically, a segment of only one or two ribs can act as a flail segment, hence there is some controversy between the clinical and radiological definitions. Clinical presentation...
Article

Globe rupture

Globe rupture is an ophthalmologic emergency. A ruptured globe or an open-globe injury must be assessed in any patient who has suffered orbital trauma because open-globe injuries are a major cause of blindness. In a blunt trauma, ruptures are most common at the insertions of the intraocular mus...
Article

Gosselin fracture

The Gosselin fracture is a fracture of the distal tibia with a V-shaped fractured fragment and intra-articular involvement. History and etymology It is named after Leon Athanese Gosselin (1815–1887), a French surgeon.
Article

Intermediary injury

Intermediary injuries affect the basal ganglia and/or thalami and are associated with diffuse axonal injury and poor prognosis.  Pathology They are a shearing injury of the lenticulostriate arteries and result in haemorrhagic contusions, which are often bilateral. Radiographic features CT h...
Article

Laryngeal trauma

Laryngeal trauma is uncommon in the setting of external blunt or penetrating trauma. The larynx may also be injured internally, for example during endotracheal intubation. Clinical presentation Symptoms include hoarseness, laryngeal pain, dyspnoea, and/or dysphagia. Also, stridor, haemoptysis,...
Article

Lateral patellar dislocation

Lateral patellar dislocation refers to lateral displacement followed by dislocation of patella due to disruptive changes to the medial patellar retinaculum. Epidemiology Patellar dislocation accounts for ~3% of all knee injuries and is commonly seen in those individuals who participate in spor...
Article

Oesophageal perforation

Oesophageal perforation is a rare but serious medical emergency with a very high mortality rate, especially if the diagnosis is delayed. Epidemiology Most patients are in their 60s with a slight male predominance 5.  Clinical presentation If a perforation is not detected during the procedure...
Article

Orbital blow-in fractures

Orbital blow-in fractures occur when there is displacement of bone fragments towards the orbits. Pathology blow-in fracture effectively reduces the volume of the orbit associated intraorbital injuries include extraocular muscle entrapment and optic nerve injury as an isolated (pure) orbital ...
Article

Osteochondral defect

Osteochondral defects are focal areas of articular damage with cartilage damage and injury of the adjacent subchondral bone. It is a term that encompasses osteochondritis dissecans and is used synonymously with osteochondral injury/defect in the paediatric population. The recognised sites of os...
Article

Pancreatic trauma

The pancreas is uncommonly injured in blunt trauma. However, pancreatic trauma has a high morbidity and mortality. Imaging features range between subtle to obvious. Epidemiology The pancreas is injured in ~7.5% (range 2-13%) of blunt trauma cases 1,3. Motor vehicle accidents account for the va...
Article

Penetrating thoracic trauma

Penetrating thoracic trauma, namely gunshot and stab injuries, vary widely in incidence globally but nevertheless result in high mortality and serious morbidity. CT is the modality of choice in imaging these patients and can reduce the need for surgical exploration.  Pathology Penetrating thor...
Article

Proximal humeral fracture

Proximal humeral fractures are common upper extremity fractures, particularly in older patients, and can result in significant disability. Epidemiology Proximal humeral fractures represent around 5% of all fractures ?.  They are most common in older populations and especially in those who are ...
Article

Pulmonary contusion

A pulmonary contusion refers to an interstitial and/or alveolar lung injury without any frank laceration. It usually occurs secondary to non-penetrating trauma.  Epidemiology While contusion can affect anyone, children are considered more susceptible due to chest wall greater pliability in tha...
Article

Pulmonary laceration

Pulmonary lacerations result from frank laceration of lung parenchyma secondary to trauma. There is almost always concurrent contusion. Epidemiology Contusions and lacerations follow blunt or penetrating chest trauma, and are almost always seen with other chest (and abdominal) injuries. While ...
Article

Radial head dislocation

Radial head dislocation occurs when the radial head is displaced from its normal articulation with the ulna and the humerus. The dislocation may be acquired or congenital (see the separate article on congenital radial head dislocation). Additionally, radial head dislocation should be distinguis...
Article

Renal trauma

Renal trauma can result from direct, blunt, penetrating and iatrogenic injury. Epidemiology Renal injuries account for ~10% of abdominal trauma, and thus the demographic of affected individuals reflects that population. The incidence of renal injuries increases in pre-existing congenital or ac...
Article

Retroperitoneal haemorrhage

Retroperitoneal haemorrhage can be a source of significant yet occult blood loss. Clinical presentation The clinical features are varied depending on the amount of hemorrhage present, rate of onset and ability of the surrounding structures to contain the hemostatic system. The classical featur...
Article

Segmental fracture

Segmental fracture is a fracture composed of at least two fracture lines that together isolate a segment of bone, usually a portion of the diaphysis of a long bone. This fracture pattern is frequently associated with high energy mechanism and devascularisation of the segmental fracture fragment(...
Article

Splenic artery pseudoaneurysm

Splenic artery pseudoaneurysms are a rare type of pseudoaneurysm arising from any portion of the splenic artery and its branches.  Clinical presentation Unlike splenic artery true aneurysms, splenic artery pseudoaneurysms will nearly always present with symptoms 2. Fewer than 200 cases of sple...
Article

Splenic trauma

Splenic trauma can occur after blunt or penetrating trauma or secondary to medical intervention (i.e. iatrogenic). The spleen is the most frequently injured organ after blunt trauma. Clinical presentation Patients may present with left upper quadrant/left chest pain, left shoulder tip pain (re...
Article

Subcapsular perirenal haematoma

A subcapsular perirenal haematoma is a form of perirenal haematoma where blood accumulates beneath the renal capsular margin. Pathology It can arise from a number of causes trauma, important in assessing renal trauma grading post procedural, e.g. extracorporeal shock-wave lithotripsy (ESWL) ...
Article

Subcutaneous emphysema

Subcutaneous or surgical emphysema, strictly speaking, refers to air in the subcutaneous tissues. But the term is generally used to describe any soft tissue emphysema of the body wall or limbs since the air often dissects into the deeper soft tissues and musculature along fascial planes. Clinic...
Article

Subdural hygroma

Subdural hygromas refer to a cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) accumulation in the subdural space. In many cases it is considered an epiphenomenon of head injury when it is called a traumatic subdural hygroma.  Clinical presentation The vast majority of patients are asymptomatic, however some symptoms...
Article

Subgaleal haematoma

Subgaleal haematoma describes scalp bleeding in the potential space between the periosteum and the galea aponeurosis. It most commonly occurs after vacuum assisted delivery, but may also be seen following head trauma. In patients with intracranial haemorrhage or skull fractures, the incidence o...
Article

Subtalar dislocation

Subtalar dislocations is the simultaneous dislocation of the talonavicular and talocalcaneal joints, without tibiotalar or talar neck fractures 1, and comprises 1-2% of all dislocations, Pathology Mechanism Subtalar dislocations are often associated with high energy trauma, usually, motor veh...
Article

Thoracic aortic injury

Thoracic aortic injury is the most common type of traumatic aortic injury and is a critical life-threatening, and often life ending event. It can result from either blunt or penetrating trauma: blunt trauma (more common) rapid deceleration (eg. motor vehicle accident, fall from great height) ...
Article

Tracheobronchial injury

Traumatic tracheobronchial injury is a serious but uncommon manifestation of chest trauma. It is usually a fatal injury with only a small percentage of patients making it to hospital. Given the magnitude of force required to injure the major airways, there are often multiple chest injuries and o...
Article

Traumatic abdominal wall hernia

Traumatic abdominal wall hernia (TAWH) represents traumatic disruption of musculature and fascia of anterior abdominal wall without skin penetration. Pathology Traumatic abdominal wall hernia (TAWH) is caused by blunt trauma to the abdomen. In adults, it usually results from road traffic acci...
Article

Traumatic subarachnoid haemorrhage

Traumatic subarachnoid haemorrhage (tSAH) is a common injury, and trauma is the most common cause of subarachnoid haemorrhage (SAH).  Epidemiology Traumatic subarachnoid haemorrhage occurs in ~35% (range 11-60%) of traumatic brain injuries 1.  Pathology Traumatic subarachnoid haemorrhage is ...
Article

Ureteric injury

Ureteric injury is a relatively uncommon, but severe event, which may result in serious complications as a diagnosis is often delayed.  Clinical presentation Ureteric injuries unreliably demonstrate macro- or micro-scopic haematuria as it may be absent in up to 25% of patients 5, 6. Classic cl...
Article

Urethral injury

Urethral injuries can result in long-term morbidity and most commonly result from trauma. The male urethra is much more commonly injured than the female urethra and is the focus of this article. Clinical presentation In the setting of trauma, the classic triad of blood of the external urethral...
Article

Urinary bladder rupture

Urinary bladder rupture is usually seen in the context of significant trauma. Classification Bladder rupture can be categorised into five types depending on the location and extent of the rupture.  Bladder contusion This is commonly seen but sometimes not classed as true rupture, since it in...

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