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Bong Seok Kwon 1 Article
Utility of Brain Computed Tomography in Detecting Fractures of the Temporal Bones Correlated with Patterns of Fracture on High-Resolution Computed Tomography
Bong Seok Kwon, Dong Hyuk Shin, Pil Cho Choi, Sang Kuk Han, Jeong Hun Lee, Hyoung Gon Song
J Korean Soc Traumatol. 2010;23(1):38-42.
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AbstractAbstract PDF
PURPOSE
The clinical utility of brain computed tomography (CT) in detecting temporal bone fracture is not well established. We performed this study to determine the utility of brain computed tomography (CT) in detecting fractures of the temporal bones in correlation with fracture patterns. We used high resolution computed tomography (HRCT) as the gold standard for diagnosing temporal bone fracture and its pattern.
METHODS
From January 2007 to December 2009, patients who underwent both brain CT and HRCT within 10 days of head trauma were investigated. Among them, 58 cases of temporal bone fracture confirmed by HRCT were finally included. Fracture patterns (transverse or non-transverse, otic capsule sparing or otic capsule violating) were determined by HRCT. Brain CT findings in correlation with fracture patterns were analyzed.
RESULTS
Among 58 confirmed cases of temporal bone fracture by HRCT, 14 cases (24.1%) were not detected by brain CT. Brain CT showed a significantly lower ability to detect temporal bone fracture with transverse component than without transverse component (p=0.020). Moreover, brain CT showed lower ability to detect otic capsule violating pattern than otic capsule sparing pattern (p=0.015). Among the 14 cases of temporal bone fracture that were not detected by brain CT, 4 cases lacked any objective physical findings (facial palsy, hemotympanum, external auditory canal bleeding) suggesting fractures of the temporal bones.
CONCLUSION
Brain CT showed poor ability to detect temporal bone fracture with transverse component and otic capsule violating pattern, which is associated with a poorer clinical outcome than otic capsule sparing pattern. Routine use of HRCT to identify temporal bone fracture is warranted, even in cases without evidence of temporal bone fracture on brain CT scans or any objective physical findings suggestive of temporal bone fracture.
Summary

J Trauma Inj : Journal of Trauma and Injury