Felis ISSN 2398-2950

Radiography: head (special)

Contributor(s): Alison Dickie, Fraser J McConnell, Tobias Schwartz

Introduction

  • The basic radiographic projections used to image the head have been described Radiography: skull (basic) Radiology: skull.
  • The complex anatomy of the head means that interpretation can be difficult. Superimposition can be a major problem when trying to evaluate specific structures.
  • Many of the special projections attempt to project specific structures with a minimum of superimposition.
  • Careful positioning is vital to produce standard views of the structure being examined therefore general anesthesia is necessary. Specifically angled projections can be difficult to achieve in cats due to their round head conformation.
  • The production of good quality radiographs using appropriate film-screen combinations with careful radiographic and processing techniques is also vital to aid interpretation.
  • The head is bilaterally symmetrical and so comparison between the structures on each side can help identify abnormalities.
  • Views which project both sides on the same film make comparison easy. Views which require each side to be imaged independently need to be positioned carefully to ensure each side is projected at the same angle therefore allowing comparison.
  • The angle of the projection may have to be altered to take into account the skull conformation of the cat.
  • Poor positioning may lead to distortion of the structure being examined and also superimposition making interpretation impossible.
  • Radiographic changes may be subtle, localized or absent even in the presence of significant disease.

Uses

  • Investigation of specific areas of the skull, eg temporomandibular joints, tympanic bullae, teeth, nasal chambers, etc.
  • Identification of bony abnormalities, eg fractures, neoplasia.
  • Identification of bony involvement in association with other conditions, eg otitis media  Otitis media, soft tissue neoplasia.

Advantages

  • Radiography is widely available in general veterinary practice.
  • Radiography is well suited to imaging bone and gas filled structures.

Disadvantages

  • Radiography involves the use of ionizing radiation.
  • The skull can rotate in several planes making accurate positioning a challenge.
  • Superimposition and complex anatomy make radiographic interpretation of the skull difficult.
  • Radiographic changes may be subtle, localized or absent.
  • Limited information on soft tissues.

Requirements

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Preparation

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Procedure

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers


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