method of choice for the detection of retained foreign bodies not seen with other techniques, especially wood and plastic. The ability of CT to differentiate densities permits detection of substances previously "invisible" by other imaging modalities. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has excellent ability to differentiate contrast between soft tissues and may be superior to other imaging modalities in the detection of plastics. However, mRi cannot be used to image metallic objects or gravel because of the production of significant ferromagnetic artifacts. CT or MRI should be used if the penetrating object was radiolucent and there is historical or clinical evidence of a retained foreign body.
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