What is the role of imaging studies in the workup of animal bites?

Updated: Sep 18, 2018
  • Author: Alisha Perkins Garth, MD; Chief Editor: Joe Alcock, MD, MS  more...
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Answer

Radiography is indicated if any concerns exist that deep structures are at risk (eg, hand wounds; deep punctures; crushing bites, especially over joints). Occult fractures or osteomyelitis may be discovered. Radiographs may find foreign bodies in the wound (eg, teeth).

Children who have been bitten in the head should be examined for bony penetration with plain films or a computed tomography (CT) scan. If the child was shaken, consider cervical spine evaluation.


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