Use of Intraoperative Computed Tomography in Craniomaxillofacial Trauma Surgery

J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2018 May;76(5):1016-1025. doi: 10.1016/j.joms.2017.12.004. Epub 2017 Dec 13.


Purpose: The use of technology to aid in assessment, planning, and management of complex craniomaxillofacial injuries is increasingly common. Preoperative computed tomography (CT) evaluation is considered the standard of care, and intraoperative imaging is becoming increasingly accessible. Limited data exist regarding the implication of intraoperative CT on decision making in the management of all sites of facial fractures. The purposes of this study were to characterize the use of an intraoperative CT scanner for craniomaxillofacial surgery within our institution, to quantify the effect of intraoperative CT on surgical decision making, and to attempt to provide guidance on when to use this technology.

Patients and methods: This retrospective case series characterizes the use of an intraoperative CT scanner for craniomaxillofacial trauma surgery at a level 1 trauma center in Portland, Oregon, from February 2011 to September 2016. We evaluated the following variables: the number of intraoperative CT scans performed for craniomaxillofacial surgery including the number of scans for each patient, the number of scans for each operative visit, the CT-directed revision rate (overall and for specific preoperative diagnoses), and the indication for imaging. This information was evaluated to provide guidance on appropriate use of an intraoperative scanner.

Results: A total of 161 patients were identified to have intraoperative facial CT scans from February 2011 to September 20, 2016, at Legacy Emanuel Medical Center. A total of 212 intraoperative facial CT scans were performed across 168 separate operations. The overall CT-directed revision rate was 28%. CT-directed revision rates for fracture subsites are as follows: orbital, 31%; zygomaticomaxillary complex, 24%; Le Fort I, 8%; Le Fort II and III, 23%; naso-orbital-ethmoidal, 23%; mandible, 13%; and frontal sinus, 0%. No CT-directed revisions were performed during removal of hardware, during placement of craniofacial implants, or in temporomandibular joint replacement surgery.

Conclusions: If available, intraoperative CT should be routinely considered in the operative management of orbital fractures and pan-facial fractures, as well as complex zygomaticomaxillary complex, Le Fort II and III, and naso-orbital-ethmoidal fractures. Consideration also should be given to the use of intraoperative CT in cases of complex mandible fractures involving severe comminution or the condylar region. Intraoperative CT should not be routinely used for the management of Le Fort I fractures or frontal sinus fractures.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Clinical Decision-Making / methods*
  • Female
  • Fracture Fixation*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Intraoperative Care / methods*
  • Intraoperative Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oregon
  • Osteotomy, Le Fort
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians' / statistics & numerical data*
  • Procedures and Techniques Utilization / statistics & numerical data*
  • Reoperation / statistics & numerical data
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Skull Fractures / diagnostic imaging
  • Skull Fractures / surgery*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / statistics & numerical data*
  • Trauma Centers
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult