Utility of computed tomography scans in predicting need for surgery in nasal injuries

Benjamin E Peterson, Timothy D Doerr
Craniomaxillofacial Trauma & Reconstruction 2013, 6 (4): 221-4
In many centers, computed tomography (CT) scan is preferred over plain film radiographs in the setting of acute nasal injury because CT scan is thought to be more sensitive in predicting nasal bone fracture. However, the usefulness of CT scans in predicting the need for surgery in acute nasal injury has not been well-studied. We conducted a retrospective review of 232 patients with known nasal bone fracture and found very similar rates of surgery in patients with a diagnosis of nasal fracture by CT scan as by nasal radiographs (41 and 37%, respectively). This suggests that experienced clinical examination remains the gold standard for determining the need for surgery in isolated nasal trauma, regardless of CT findings.

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