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Skull X-Ray

What Affects the Test

Reasons you may not be able to have the test or why the results may not be helpful include:

  • If you can't remain still during the test. The pictures may not be clear.
  • If you have a possible neck injury. In this case, it may not be possible to do a complete set of skull X-rays.
  • If you have a false eye (prosthetic eye) or other artificial or metal objects on the head. These can make a shadow on the X-ray picture that hides part of the bones.

What To Think About

  • A computed tomography (CT) scan may be done instead of a skull X-ray. A CT scan shows more detail than an X-ray does. It may show tiny fractures better than an X-ray and can also show injuries to the brain and other tissues. CT scans are more expensive than skull X-rays and may not be available in some areas. To learn more, see the topic Computed Tomography (CT) Scan of the Head and Face.
  • Your X-ray results may be different from earlier test results because you were tested at a different medical center or you had a different kind of test.

Other Works Consulted

  • Chernecky CC, Berger BJ (2008). Laboratory Tests and Diagnostic Procedures, 5th ed. St. Louis: Saunders.

  • Fischbach FT, Dunning MB III, eds. (2009). Manual of Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests, 8th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Howard Schaff, MD - Diagnostic Radiology
Current as of April 24, 2012
1 | 2 | 3

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: April 24, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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