|Title||Are plain radiographs sufficient to exclude cervical spine injuries in low-risk adults?|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2014|
|Authors||Hunter BR, Keim SM, Seupaul RA, Hern G|
|Journal||J Emerg Med|
|Date Published||2014 Feb|
|Keywords||Adult, Cervical Vertebrae, Evidence-Based Medicine, Humans, Male, Predictive Value of Tests, Sensitivity and Specificity, Spinal Injuries, Wounds, Nonpenetrating|
BACKGROUND: The routine use of clinical decision rules and three-view plain radiography to clear the cervical spine in blunt trauma patients has been recently called into question.
CLINICAL QUESTION: In low-risk adult blunt trauma patients, can plain radiographs adequately exclude cervical spine injury when clinical prediction rules cannot?
EVIDENCE REVIEW: Four observational studies investigating the performance of plain radiographs in detecting cervical spine injury in low-risk adult blunt trauma patients were reviewed.
CONCLUSION: The consistently poor performance of plain radiographs to rule out cervical spine injury in adult blunt trauma victims is concerning. Large, rigorously performed prospective trials focusing on low- or low/moderate-risk patients will be needed to truly define the utility of plain radiographs of the cervical spine in blunt trauma.
|Alternate Journal||J Emerg Med|
Are plain radiographs sufficient to exclude cervical spine injuries in low-risk adults?
Samuel M. Keim, MD, MS