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Original Articles
June 1961

Transverse Fracture of the Petrous Bone: Demonstration with Polycyclic Tomography

Arch Otolaryngol. 1961;73(6):644-645. doi:10.1001/archotol.1961.00740020658004

The clinical diagnosis of fractures of the petrous bone is usually clear and unambiguous. However, the actual proof of the fracture and its location is often missing, as in many instances x-ray examination cannot reveal the fracture.3 At other times the fracture is seen in the squamous vault part and its full extent must be imagined. In Grove's2 series of 211 skull fractures, 16 were fractures of the petrous pyramid. In only 4 cases was a definite petrous bone fracture delineated. In short, the diagnosis must be made on the clinical findings.

The progress made in recent years in tomography of the temporal bone4 has greatly facilitated localization in the petrous bone.1 But even with tomography it can be difficult to trace a minute line of fracture, and it can therefore be necessary to place the patient in such a position that the assumed line of

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