What is the role of imaging studies in the workup of nasal fractures?

Updated: Dec 06, 2018
  • Author: Samuel J Haraldson, MD; Chief Editor: Craig C Young, MD  more...
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  • Nearly 50% of nasal fractures are likely to be missed on plain film nasal radiographs. A high incidence of false-positive studies secondary to the complex anatomy of the developmental suture lines exists. Cartilaginous injury is not detected by radiographs; therefore, it is not considered routine to order nasal radiographs only when an isolated nasal fracture is suspected.

  • Facial x-ray series: If suspicion for other facial injury exists, then a complete facial radiographic series should be obtained.

  • Computed tomography (CT) scanning provides the best information regarding the extent of bony injury in nasal and facial fractures, particularly digital volume tomography (DVT). [14] Again, cartilaginous injury is likely to be missed.

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