Is the open-mouth odontoid view necessary in children under 5 years?

Pediatr Radiol. 2000 Mar;30(3):186-9. doi: 10.1007/s002470050043.


Objectives: Questionnaires (984) were submitted to pediatric radiologists to determine how often odontoid fractures were missed on lateral views and detected on open-mouth odontoid views in children under 5 years. Other questions relating to imaging protocols of the odontoid also were included, and there were 432 respondents.

Results: Of these, 161 respondents indicated that an open-mouth odontoid view was not routinely included in their imaging protocol.

Conclusions: There was considerable variability on how the problem of imaging of the odontoid was addressed, but overall there were enough data to begin to consider the concept that the open-mouth odontoid might not be needed in patients under 5 years of age if a lateral view is normal.

MeSH terms

  • Child, Preschool
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Mouth
  • Odontoid Process / diagnostic imaging*
  • Odontoid Process / injuries
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians' / statistics & numerical data
  • Radiography
  • Spinal Fractures / diagnostic imaging*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires