• Comparison of scattered entrance skin dose burden in MSCT, CBCT, and X-ray for suspected scaphoid injury: Regional dose measurements in a phantom model

      Hughes, J.; Harris, M.; Snaith, Beverly; Benn, H. (2022-08-01)
      Introduction: Scaphoid radiography has poor sensitivity for acute fracture detection and often requires repeat delayed imaging. Although magnetic resonance (MR) imaging is considered the gold standard, computed tomography (CT) is often used as an alternative due to ease of access. Cone-Beam CT (CBCT) offers equivalent diagnostic efficacy to Multi Slice CT (MSCT) at reduced dose. We aimed to establish the difference in scattered dose between modalities for scaphoid imaging. Methods: Anatomical regional entrance surface dose measurements were taken at 3 regions on an anthropomorphic torso phantom positioned as a patient to a wrist phantom undergoing scaphoid imaging for three modalities (CBCT, MSCT, four-view projection radiography). Exposure factors were based on audit of clinical exposures. Each dose measurement was repeated three times per anatomical region, modality, exposure setting and projection. Results: Under unpaired T-test CBCT gave significantly lower mean dose at the neck (1.64 vs 18 mGy), chest (2.78 vs 8.01) and abdomen (1.288 vs 2.93) than MSCT (p
    • Evaluating the potential for cone beam CT to improve the suspected scaphoid fracture pathway: InSPECTED - A single-centre feasibility study

      Snaith, Beverly; Harris, M.; Hughes, J.; Spencer, N.; Shinkins, B.; Tachibana, A.; Bessant, G.; Robertshaw, S. (2022-03)
      The suspected scaphoid fracture remains a diagnostic conundrum with over-treatment a common risk-averse strategy. Cross-sectional imaging remains the gold standard with MRI recommended but CT used by some because of easier access or limited MRI availability. The aim of this feasibility study was to evaluate whether cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) could support early diagnosis, or exclusion, of scaphoid fractures. Patients with a suspected scaphoid were recruited fracture between March and July 2020. All underwent a 4-view X-ray. If this examination was normal, they were immediately referred for a CBCT scan of the wrist. Those with a normal scan were discharged to research follow-up at 2 and 6-weeks. 68 participants were recruited, 55 had a normal or equivocal X-ray and underwent CBCT. Nine additional radiocarpal fractures (16.2%) were demonstrated on CBCT, the remainder were discharged to research follow-up. Based on the 2-week and 6-week follow up three patients (4.4%) were referred for MRI to investigate persistent symptoms with no bony injuries identified. CBCT scans enabled a rapid pathway for the diagnosis or exclusion of scaphoid fractures, identifying other fractures and facilitating early treatment. The rapid pathway also enabled those with no bony injury to start rehabilitation, suggesting that patients can be safely discharged with safety-net advice following a CBCT scan.
    • Has NICE guidance changed the management of the suspected scaphoid fracture: A survey of UK practice

      Snaith, Beverly; Walker, A.; Robertshaw, S.; Spencer, N.J.B.; Smith, A.; Harris, M.A. (2021-05)
      Introduction: Despite scaphoid fractures being relatively uncommon pro-active treatment of suspected fractures has been seen as a risk management strategy. The poor positive predictive value of X-rays has led to published guidelines advocating MRI as a first-line or early imaging tool. It is unclear whether UK hospitals have been able to introduce early scanning and this national survey sought to establish the current management strategies for patients with a suspected scaphoid fracture. Method: An electronic survey of UK emergency departments (ED) was conducted to establish the initial and follow up strategies for patients with negative imaging. Comparison of first and second-line imaging modalities was undertaken together with review of the clinical speciality responsible for ongoing management. Results: 166 UK NHS Trusts were identified with emergency department facilities of which 66 (39.8%) responded. All sites perform an X-ray as the initial examination. For those with a negative examination ED follow up was the most common approach (54.6%), although many sites refer patients to other specialities including orthopaedics (39.4%) for follow up. The data demonstrated inconsistencies in the number of follow-up episodes and the different imaging investigations utilised. Frustration with the challenges presented by this patient cohort was evident. Conclusion: The suspected scaphoid fracture represents an ongoing challenge to the NHS with many resource intensive pathways reliant on access to complex imaging investigations. Implications for practice: Our study identified that UK Emergency Departments have limited early access to complex imaging for scanning of the scaphoid. A range of strategies are used for follow up of suspected scaphoid fractures and these are resource intensive. Overtreatment of patients with suspected scaphoid fracture is used as a risk management approach.