OBJECTIVE: To assess the diagnostic reliability of low dose Multidetector Computed Tomography (MDCT) and Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT) for zygomaticomaxillary fracture diagnosis.
METHODS: Unilateral zygomaticomaxillary fractures were inflicted on four out of six fresh frozen human cadaver head specimens. All specimens were scanned using four MDCT and two CBCT imaging protocols of which the radiation exposure was systematically reduced. A blinded diagnostic routine was simulated at which 16 radiologists and 8 oral and maxillofacial (OMF) surgeons performed randomized image assessments. We considered the findings during an open operative approach of the zygomatic region as the gold standard.
RESULTS: Zygomaticomaxillary fractures were correctly diagnosed in 90.3% (n = 130) of the image assessments. The zygomatic arch was most often correctly diagnosed (91.0%). The zygomatic alveolar crest showed the lowest degree of correct diagnosis (65.3%). Dose reduction did not significantly affect the objective visualization of fractures of the zygomaticomaxillary complex. The sensitivity and specificity also remained consistent among the low dose scan protocols. Dose reduction did not decrease the ability to assess dislocation, comminution, orbital volume, volume rendering and soft tissues. OMF surgeons considered the low dose protocols sufficient for treatment planning.
CONCLUSION: Dose reduction did not decrease the diagnostic reliability of MDCT and CBCT for the diagnosis of zygomaticomaxillary fractures.