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Bones of the head (CT)

Learning objectives

Going through this study unit will enable you to:

  1. Evaluate the CT density of different structures of the head and neck.
  2. Learn the anatomical appearance and relations of the bones of the head and neck as seen on an axial CT scan.

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Imaging procedures of the head and neck are often used to gain a comprehensive insight into what is going on with the structures of the viscerocranium, neurocranium and neck. The most commonly used methods are CT and MRI.

Since medical imaging is an extremely valuable tool for characterizing the anatomical relations as well as for diagnosing injuries and staging of conditions inside the head and neck, every medical student will benefit from understanding how these structures appear on CT and MRI scans.

Explore CT scan

Due to being highly saturated with calcium, the bones have the highest density on CT scans. Thus, they appear as white on scans. This enables us to evaluate the integrity of the bones, examine them for fractures, dislocations, osteolytic processes and dysplasia.

The following images will present you with the most important bony landmarks of the head and neck seen at the levels of jugular fossa, atlas (C1) and axis (C2).

Analyze each structure with the following gallery:

Take a quiz

Solidify your knowledge with our quiz:

If you wish to get tested on a variety of head CT topics beyond the bones, try out our fully customizable quiz:

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