Is Ultrasonography Efficient for the Detection of the Zygomatic Arch, Nasal Bone and Cartilage Fractures?

The Open Dentistry Journal 22 Apr 2020 RESEARCH ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/1874210602014010178



The high incidence of nasal and zygomatic arch fractures highlights the need for an accurate imaging modality for their detection. The superimposition of structures is a major problem in conventional radiography. Ultrasonography is a low-cost imaging modality with a wide range of applications, that does not employ ionizing radiation. This study aimed to assess the efficacy of ultrasonography for the detection of the zygomatic arch and nasal bone fractures.

Materials and Methods:

This study was conducted on 16 sheep heads. Artificial fractures were created in some parts of the zygomatic arch, dorsum and lateral wall of the nose, and nasal cartilage. All sheep heads underwent Cone-Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT) to ensure the presence of a fracture. Next, the lateral nasal and submentovertex radiographs were obtained, and ultrasonography was performed with a 12-15 MHz linear probe. Ultrasonography and radiography were repeated after 1 week to assess their reproducibility by calculating the kappa coefficient. Data were analyzed using Stata 11 software and Chi-square test.


The specificity and sensitivity of ultrasonography ranged from 87% to 100%, and 50% to 75%, respectively. The specificity and sensitivity of radiography ranged from 87% to 100%, and 62% to 87%, respectively. The differences between the two imaging modalities were not statistically significant (p>0.05). The kappa coefficient ranged from 46% to 100% for ultrasonography and 44% to 87% for radiography.


Ultrasonography seemed useful for the detection of displaced bone and cartilage fractures. For non-displaced fractures, US is not recommended.

Keywords: Fracture, Radiography, Sonography, Zygomatic arch, Nasal bone, Ultrasonography.
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