What are the limitations of acetabulum fracture imaging?

Updated: Jun 25, 2019
  • Author: David S Levey, MD; Chief Editor: Felix S Chew, MD, MBA, MEd  more...
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Answer

Answer

All techniques are limited to the size and disposition of the patient. Many CT gantries have a weight limitation approaching 500 lb. Depending on the height, weight, and girth of the patient, the penetration of the x-ray beam varies, and larger patients have increasing image graininess, decreased signal-to-noise ratio, narrowing of the gray scale, and streak artifact off bowel and bony prominences.

Additionally, patient motion tends to blur and degrade the images. This is particularly important in the setting of high-velocity trauma and an acutely traumatized patient, as patients must lie on an x-ray table or CT gantry and are much less likely to hold still during an examination when in a great deal of pain.


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