The anatomy curriculum is one of our curriculum articles and aims to be a collection of articles that represent the core anatomy knowledge for radiologists and imaging specialists.
Head and neck anatomy
Abdominal and pelvic anatomy
Basilar fractures of the skull, also known as base of skull fractures, are a common form of skull fracture, particularly in the setting of severe traumatic head injury, and involve the base of the skull. They may occur in isolation or often in continuity with skull vault fractures or facial frac...
Battle sign is an eponymous term given to mastoid ecchymosis (bruising of the scalp overlying the mastoid process) and is strongly suggestive of a base of skull fracture, most commonly a petrous temporal bone fracture.
History and etymology
Mr William Henry Battle (1855-1936) was an English s...
Buckle rib fractures are typical of an anterior compressive force to the chest, most commonly external cardiac massage, but can be seen following any such traumatic injury.
Buckle rib fractures occur in all ages, even very elderly patients. Thus ribs are not the same as most adult lo...
Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning may result in an anoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy, with acute as well as delayed effects.
Carbon monoxide poisoning is mostly preventable with common causes including malfunctioning heating systems, improperly ventilated motor vehicles, and residentia...
Cyanide poisoning is a cause of an acute anoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy that also has eventual chronic sequelae.
Acute cyanide poisoning is rare and often occurs after suicidal oral ingestion of cyanide-containing compounds, however there are other sources such as after smoke in...
Decomposition of the human body occurs soon after death and is of relevance to radiology in the fields of post mortem and forensic radiology.
Decomposition occurs due to two main processes 1,2:
autolysis: degradation by destructive enzymes released by dying cells in the body
Drowning is one of the most prevalent causes of non-natural death. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), an estimated 360,000 annual deaths occur due to drowning.
This article concerns itself with postmortem appearances in fatalities from drowning. For non-fatal pulmonary changes pl...
Ethylene glycol toxicity is a type of toxic leukoencephalopathy. Ethylene glycol, best known as a component of antifreeze, has been ingested both deliberately and accidentally, resulting in neurotoxicity and renal failure.
A delay is present between ingestion and developm...
Fracture-a-la-signature (or signature fracture) is another term used to described a depressed skull fracture.
Fracture-a-la-signature derives its name from forensic medicine because the size and shape of a depressed skull fracture may give information on the type of weapon used. It can be a si...
Hanging and strangulation are injuries involving constricting pressure applied to the neck. The vast majority are sustained as a result of attempted suicide.
In America, hangings are the second most common form of suicide after firearm use. In other parts of the world due to the r...
High-velocity penetrating brain injuries, in practical terms most often due to cranial gunshot injuries, are a form of penetrating traumatic brain injuries, which are much less common than blunt traumatic brain injuries and distinguished from low-velocity penetrating brain injuries (such as stab...
Hypostasis (also called livor mortis) refers to the purplish discolouration of the superficial layers of dependent areas of the skin occurring soon after death. In reality the mechanisms causing hypostasis cause changes in every organ in the body.
In one study imaging evidence of ...
Hypothermia-related death refers to the endpoint of behavioural and physiological changes caused by a reduction in body temperature.
Hypothermia can affect anyone in extreme cold, but in the presence of helplessness promoting factors also occurs in temperate climates, indoors and ...
Gunshot injuries often require imaging assessment, and this evaluation has both clinical relevance (assessment of organ damage, surgical planning and prognostication), and often also forensic implications.
Incidence of gunshot injuries to the head is increasing in some countries, ...
Laryngeal trauma is uncommon in the setting of external blunt or penetrating trauma. The larynx may also be injured internally, for example during endotracheal intubation.
Symptoms include hoarseness, laryngeal pain, dyspnoea, and/or dysphagia. Also, stridor, haemoptysis,...
The liver is one of the most frequently damaged organs in blunt trauma, and liver trauma is associated with a significant mortality rate.
In blunt abdominal trauma, the liver is injured ~5% (range 1-10%) of the time 1,3.
Patients can present with right uppe...
Methanol poisoning is a cause of an acute toxic leukoencephalopathy that also has eventual chronic sequelae.
Methanol poisoning or intoxication is rare and often occurs after suicidal or accidental oral ingestion of methanol-containing agents, or after consumption of adulterated ...
Near drowning pulmonary oedema is considered an aetiological subtype of non cardiogenic pulmonary oedema. It can occur with both salt water and fresh water near-drowning.
It is thought to result from the inhalation of either fresh water or sea water resulting in lung damage and a ven...
Normal central nervous system postmortem changes refers to the expected changes seen in the central nervous system with postmortem imaging.
loss of grey-white matter differentiation 1,2
intracranial and intravascular gas (due to putrefaction) 1,2
hyperdensity of the...
Normal respiratory postmortem changes refers to the expected changes seen in the respiratory system and tract with postmortem imaging.
hypostasis occurs in the lung postmortem and is visible as a hyperdense gradient dependent with gravity which is bilateral and symmet...
Organophosphate poisoning is an important cause of acute neurological dysfunction and respiratory distress.
Organophosphate poisoning is common, often as a result of suicidal ingestion (acute high-level exposure) or occupational exposure to pesticides (chronic low-level exposure) ...
The pancreas is uncommonly injured in blunt trauma. However, pancreatic trauma has a high morbidity and mortality. Imaging features range from subtle to obvious.
The pancreas is injured in ~7.5% (range 2-13%) of blunt trauma cases 1,3. Motor vehicle accidents account for the vast ...
Penetrating thoracic trauma, namely gunshot and stab injuries, vary widely in incidence globally but nevertheless result in high mortality and serious morbidity. CT is the modality of choice in imaging these patients and can reduce the need for surgical exploration.
The postmortem and forensic curriculum is one of our curriculum articles and aims to be a collection of topics that represent core knowledge pertaining to forensic and postmortem radiology.
Postmortem radiology: the radiographic examination of the body after death.
Cardiovascular postmortem changes refer to the normal appearances of the cardiovascular system on postmortem imaging.
hyperdensity of the aortic wall 1,2
hypostasis of blood intravascularly 3
dilatation of the right atrium of the heart 1
dilatation of the superior...
Musculoskeletal and soft tissue postmortem changes refer to the expected appearances of the musculoskeletal system and soft tissues on postmortem imaging.
livor mortis can be seen in the dependent soft tissues 1
hypostasis of the dependent muscles
Renal trauma can result from direct, blunt, penetrating and iatrogenic injury.
Renal injuries account for ~10% of abdominal trauma, and thus the demographic of affected individuals reflects that population. The incidence of renal injuries increases in pre-existing congenital or ac...
Solvent abuse (toluene being the major component) is remarkably common, especially in young people with psychosocial stressors, and with chronic use can lead to numerous ill-effects, particularly affecting the central nervous system.
Solvent abuse is geographically widespread, an...
Splenic trauma can occur after blunt or penetrating trauma or secondary to medical intervention (i.e. iatrogenic). The spleen is the most frequently injured internal organ after blunt trauma.
In blunt trauma, the spleen can account for up to 49% of abdominal organ injuries 2.
Stab wounds are a form of penetrating trauma that may be self-inflicted or inflicted by another person either accidentally or intentionally. They may be caused from a variety of objects and may occur anywhere in the body.
Although commonly caused by a knife as well, slash injuries ...
This is a basic article for medical students and other non-radiologists
Trauma films are ubiquitous in an orthopaedic attachment and also in the Emergency Department.
In most cases, a trauma film will come with two views. It is important that you review both films because in some cases a fract...