The diagnostic yield of only one occipito-mental radiograph in cases of suspected midfacial trauma--or is one enough?

Br J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 1995 Apr;33(2):90-2. doi: 10.1016/0266-4356(95)90206-6.


The number of radiographic examinations should be reduced to clinical needs. Often in cases of suspected midfacial injury three views comprise a routine 'facial view' survey. A reduction in patient radiation exposure and X-ray costs would be achieved if only one occipito-mental radiograph was used. In this study the ability of Accident and Emergency staff to diagnose the presence of fractures using the standard occipito-mental view was assessed. The specificity value was 90% and the sensitivity was 75%. Few fractures were missed on initial scrutiny and in cases of doubt further views would be requested. Therefore the findings would suggest that only one view is sufficient for routine assessment.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Maxillofacial Injuries / diagnostic imaging*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Radiography / statistics & numerical data
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Skull Fractures / diagnostic imaging*
  • Utilization Review