The Daily PANCE and PANRE Question 12

A 22-year-old patient was involved in an automobile accident and is comatose. Which of the following diagnostic modalities would be least useful in this patient's evaluation?

  1. CT scan
  2. skull radiographs
  3. MRI scan
  4. EEG
  5. PET scan

Answer: B

Skull radiographs

Of these choices, the skull film is LEAST useful. Whether or not the skull is fractured, any LOC in a head trauma requires imaging for bleeding. CT would be the imaging test of choice. MRI should be done for a more chronic bleed. EEG would help to establish brain activity. PET scan (while not done often) would establish physiologic function (uptake of glucose). A positive or negative plain film of the skull would supply NO FURTHER INFORMATION.

Know Your Content Blueprint

Head injuries are covered as part of the NCCPA Content Blueprint Neurology System (6%)


A 16-year-old male who is dizzy and nauseous following football collision and suspected closed head injury (watch video)

Learn more about intracranial hemorrhage and concussion injuries and view this ReelDx educational case

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