Introduction to imaging: The head and neck
In the third part of our series, John Frank discusses the techniques used to image head and neck disorders
Radiologists can image the head and neck in a variety of ways to show different pathologies. Radiologically, the head is made up of two separate parts--the cranium and the face. They grow at different rates, as can easily be seen in babies, who have a relatively large cranium that grows slowly, and a smaller face, which grows more quickly. Imaging the head usually relates to the cranium and contents. Always consult an imaging department for the best advice so that radiologists can tailor the correct investigation to the question you need answering.
Doctors often request plain x rays of the skull for vague symptoms such as headache. The only real indication for plain x rays of the skull in an adult, however, is trauma.1 Other intracranial problems do not show up in plain x ray images. Rare conditions, such as chronic raised intracranial pressure, will be diagnosed by computed tomography