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Computed tomography evaluation of petrous bone fractures

Uzoamaka R. Ebubedike
Eric Okechukwu Umeh
Evaristus A. Afiadigwe


Background: Petrous bone trauma is the sequel of blunt head injury and can have life threatening complications resulting in immediate mortality. Early detection and good knowledge of the Computed Tomography (CT) findings ensure prompt treatment of both fractures and complications.

Objective: To document the frequency and prevalent most type of petrous bone fracture, co-existing intracranial haemorrhage and other skull fractures as well as establish association between them.

Methodology: Forty-six CT images of patients aged ≥1year were investigated for petrous fractures and complications in two South-East hospitals, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital (NAUTH) Nnewi, Anambra State and Iyienu Mission Hospital Ogidi, Anambra State, were enrolled into the study. Statistical analysis of data was done using SPSS software version 17.0 for windows.

Results: The study population had a mean age of 30.4years ±17.4 with an age range of 1.4 to 80years. Subjects aged 21–30years were of the highest frequency. The most common petrous fracture is longitudinal (58.7%), while the least was mixed petrous fracture (6.5%). Amongst other skull fractures, the most common was parietal fracture while the most common intracranial haemorrhage was intracerebral. An association was found only between the mixed type and intracerebral haemorrhage, p-value 0.042. There was no association between petrous fractures and other skull fractures.

Conclusion: The most common petrous bone fracture was the longitudinal type with intracerebral haemorrhage and parietal bone fractures being the most prevalent complications. An association is established only between the mixed petrous fracture and intracerebral haemorrhage.

Keywords: Complications, Intracranial haemorrhage, Longitudinal fractures

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eISSN: 3027-2890
print ISSN: 1115-0521