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skull X-ray

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Site of skull X-ray

Skull X-ray

Alternative Names 
skull radiograph, X-ray of the head, X-ray of the skull

A skull X-ray is an imaging test that allows a doctor to see the bones that make up the skull, face, and nasal sinuses. A few brain abnormalities can be seen as well, such as calcium deposits inside the brain.

Who is a candidate for the test? 
A skull X-ray may be taken: How is the test performed? 
A skull X-ray can be performed in a hospital, clinic, or office. The person is asked to lie or sit still on a special table. Many views, or pictures, are taken from the back, front, and sides.

What is involved in preparation for the test? 
All jewellery above the neck should be removed before the X-ray. Dentures should also be removed.

What do the test results mean? 
Normal findings are a normal skull and surrounding structures. Abnormal findings may be due to many problems, including:
  • a sinus infection
  • a skull fracture, or a break in one or more skull bones
  • a collection of blood or other fluid inside the skull, such as an intracerebral haemorrhage or hydrocephalus
  • a brain tumour or cancer which may have started in the skull or brain or spread to these areas
  • abnormal calcium deposits in the brain, which may be a sign of an infection, tumour, or other problem
  • a physical deformity of the skull in a baby, which may be present at birth or acquired when a newborn passes through the birth canal
Author: Gail Hendrickson, RN, BS
Reviewer: eknowhow Medical Review Panel
Editor: Dr John Hearne
Last Updated: 26/05/2005
Potential conflict of interest information for reviewers available on request

This website and article is not a substitute for independent professional advice. Nothing contained in this website is intended to be used as medical advice and it is not intended to be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, nor should it be used for therapeutic purposes or as a substitute for your own health professional's advice.  All Health and any associated parties do not accept any liability for any injury, loss or damage incurred by use of or reliance on the information.


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