Michaleff CMAJ 2012 – CCR vs NEXUS

Short Citation: CMAJ 2012;184(16):E867-76.

PubMed PMID: 23048086

Full Citation: Michaleff ZA, Maher CG, Verhagen AP, Rebbeck T, Lin CW. Accuracy of the Canadian C-spine rule and NEXUS to screen for clinically important cervical spine injury in patients following blunt trauma: a systematic review. CMAJ 2012;184(16):E867-76.

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Findings: We included 15 studies of modest methodologic quality. For the Canadian C-spine rule, sensitivity ranged from 0.90 to 1.00 and specificity ranged from 0.01 to 0.77. For NEXUS, sensitivity ranged from 0.83 to 1.00 and specificity ranged from 0.02 to 0.46. One study directly compared the accuracy of these 2 rules using the same cohort and found that the Canadian C-spine rule had better accuracy. For both rules, a negative test was more informative for reducing the probability of a clinically important cervical spine injury.

Authors' Conclusions: Based on studies with modest methodologic quality and only one direct comparison, we found that the Canadian C-spine rule appears to have better diagnostic accuracy than the NEXUS criteria. Future studies need to follow rigorous methodologic procedures to ensure that the findings are as free of bias as possible.

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