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Title: Relative radio-opacity of commonly consumed fish species in South East Queensland on lateral neck x-ray: an ovine model.
Authors: Davies, William R A
Bate, Patricia J
Citation: The Medical journal of Australia 2009 Dec 7-21; 191(11-12): 677-80
Abstract: To determine the relative radio-opacity on plain x-ray of bones of fish species commonly consumed in South East Queensland. A cadaveric sheep model was used to mimic the soft tissues of a human neck. Bones of 10 fish species were placed in the paratracheal tissues and adjacent to the larynx. X-rays were taken and the images (including four control images with no bones) were incorporated into a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation to be interpreted by emergency specialists and registrars. Observers were blinded to which specimens contained fishbones and which did not. Sensitivity and specificity of plain x-rays for detecting impacted fishbones. Significant interobserver variability was identified. Despite this, the overall specificity of plain x-rays was 90%. The sensitivity of the technique was 79% overall, but varied significantly between fish species. Lateral soft tissue neck x-ray is an appropriate screening tool in cases of a suspected impacted fishbone. If a fishbone is identified on x-ray, the patient should be referred for endoscopy without further imaging. X-ray may be of limited value in cases of Dory or Spanish mackerel bone ingestion. In such cases, a computed tomography scan should be the first-line investigation.
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Journal title: The Medical journal of Australia
ISSN: 0025-729X
Type: Evaluation Studies
Journal Article
Appears in Collections:(a) NT Health Research Collection

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