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Wrist fractures: sensitivity of radiography, prevalence, and patterns in MDCT

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The aims of this study are to evaluate diagnostic performance of conventional radiographs for wrist fractures using multidetector computerized tomography (MDCT) as a reference standard, to determine prevalence, demographic risk factors including age and sex, and associations among various wrist fractures. A retrospective study was performed, finding a total 455 patients (457 wrists) who had wrist trauma and who had undergone a radiography and subsequent MDCT examination during a 45-month period. The MDCT and radiographs of the patients were reviewed by two radiologists, and a consensus was obtained for the presence of fracture. Sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), and negative predictive value (NPV) of radiographs were calculated using MDCT findings as reference standard. The correlation of both age and sex between the presence of fracture was also analyzed. Of the 455 patients, 223 (49.0 %) had one or more fractures in wrist. A total of 302 (160 patients had one, 50 had two, 10 had three, and 3 had four) fractures were diagnosed in the wrist region. In 457 wrists, MDCT revealed 128 occult fractures missed by radiography. The overall sensitivity, specificity, PPV, and NPV of radiography for the detection of all wrist fractures were 57.8, 99.5, 87.4, and 97.4 %, respectively. The sensitivities of radiography ranged 0–41.2 % for other carpal bone except scaphoid (66 %) fractures and 66.7–80 % for the proximal metacarpus, distal ulna, and radius fractures. Wrist fractures appear to be overlooked on radiography. Further imaging should be warranted for patients who are clinically suspicious for wrist fracture in emergency rooms.

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Correspondence to Ali Balci.

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Balci, A., Basara, I., Çekdemir, E.Y. et al. Wrist fractures: sensitivity of radiography, prevalence, and patterns in MDCT. Emerg Radiol 22, 251–256 (2015).

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