Computed tomography reconstruction artifact suggesting cervical spine subluxation: Case report

Daniel M. Sciubba, Michael J. Dorsi, Ryan Kretzer, Allan J. Belzberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Use of computed tomography (CT) imaging for evaluation of the cervical spine following blunt trauma is both an efficient and reliable method for detecting injury. As a result, many trauma centers and emergency departments rely exclusively on CT scans to acutely clear the cervical spine of injury. Although quite sensitive for detecting bone injury, CT may be associated with a low sensitivity for detecting herniated discs, injured soft tissue or ligaments, and dynamic instability. In addition, CT-generated artifact may obscure pathological findings. In this case report, we describe the course of a patient whose CT scan harbored CT-generated artifact that suggested traumatic subluxation of the cervical spine. Clinicians should be aware of such artifact and how to recognize it when basing clinical management on such studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)84-87
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Neurosurgery: Spine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2008


  • Cervical spine
  • Computed tomography reconstruction
  • Imaging artifact
  • Subluxation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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