Imaging of injuries of the cervical spine has undergone substantial changes in the past 10 years. The use of CT and MR imaging has been emphasized by many authors. Other studies have stressed the proper use and interpretation of plain radiographs in the emergency setting. There is confusion about whether plain films, CT, or MR imaging is best used to evaluate specific injuries. This review explores the usefulness of CT and MR imaging in the diagnosis and management of acute injuries of the cervical spine and emphasizes the continued importance of conventional radiography. Specific examples that illustrate the relative merits of plain radiography, CT, and MR imaging are shown.
GY el-Khoury, MH Kathol and WW Daniel
Department of Radiology, University of Iowa College of Medicine, Iowa City 52242.