E1384. Cracking the Skull: A Guide to Skull Fractures and Their Complications
  1. Sankarsh Jetty; University of Rochester
  2. Devanshi Mistry; University of Rochester
  3. Katelyn Bothwell; University of Rochester
  4. Alex Kessler; University of Rochester
Traumatic head injury is one of the leading reasons for emergency department visits in the United States. Delay in diagnosis of skull fractures and their complications can be detrimental to the patient leading to increased morbidity and mortality. The radiologist plays a pivotal role in identifying and communicating the appropriate findings to ensure prompt and appropriate patient care.

Educational Goals / Teaching Points
1. Review the pertinent anatomy of the calvarium and skull base. 2. Highlight imaging modalities and protocols used to evaluate skull fractures and their complications. 3. Review common and uncommon fractures and fracture types. 4. Review complications that can occur in the setting of skull fractures. 5. Review the post-operative patient. 6. Review common mimics and pitfalls.

Key Anatomic/Physiologic Issues and Imaging Findings/Techniques
1. Anatomy of the calvarium and skull base. 2. Fractures involving the calvarium, anterior, middle, and posterior cranial fossa. 3. Unique pediatric fractures, including growing skull fractures. 4. Complications associated with skull fractures, including tension pneumocephalus and CSF leaks. 5. Post-operative patient. 6. Mimics and pitfalls, including the unfused skull and arachnoid granulations.

Skull fractures, while common, can often be subtle and associated with complications that may be missed unless the radiologist knows what to look for. We hope by the end of this presentation the reader will become familiar with imaging characteristics of common and uncommon skull fractures and their complications.