Background: Cervical spine trauma occurs mostly among young males due to falls and car accidents. The CT scan technology is replacing radiography in many medical clinics as it is very capable in detecting subtle cervical spine injuries. However, the use of CT scan for routine screening in patients with cervical spine trauma remains controversial due to its radiation risks and relatively high cost. 

Objective: The focus of this research was on using morphine in patients with cervical spine trauma. The objective was to determine the ability of morphine to reduce the number of patients in need of CT scans.

Methods: This double-blinded randomized clinical trial study was conducted from April 2014 to March 2015 in Hasheminejad Hospital in Mashhad, Iran. We enrolled 67 patients with cervical spine trauma and normal radiography in the study. They were divided randomly into two groups (groups A and B), where group A received intravenous morphine, and group B received a placebo. We measured the pain scores in both groups before giving the medication and 10 minutes afterwards using a visual analog scale (VAS).

Results: As a result of receiving morphine, the patients in group A had significantly lower pain than group B (p-value < 0.001). The average pain score in group A was reduced by 43% versus 23% in group B. However, the most pain reduction was in those in group A with a normal CT scan. The pain score of these patients dropped by 52%.

Conclusions: The findings of this study suggest that patients with a normal radiography may be discharged with a cervical collar without a need for a CT scan if morphine reduces their pain. This is because the pain in these patients stem from the muscles and non-bony structures in the cervical spine area. 

Clinical trial registration: The trial was registered at the Iranian Registry of Clinical Trials (http://www.irct.ir) with the IRCT ID: IRCT2013100214872N1

Funding: The authors received no financial support for the research or for the publication of this article.


Keywords: cervical spine, trauma, CT scan, morphine
» HTML Fulltext    » PDF Fulltext    » doi: 10.19082/2432
Air Max 90 NS GPXAir Jordan 1 Retro High OG "Obsidian" Sail/Obsidian-University Blue For Sale

The  most recent editorial (June 2021)

Ethics of Publishing Case Reports: Do We Need Ethics Approval and Patient Consent?

An editorial by Dr. Mehrdad Jalalian

Read more.

The worldwide spread of COVID-19 as an emerging, rapidly evolving situation, and the dramatic need of urgent medicine or vaccine, has rapidly brought new hypotheses for pathophysiology and potential medicinal agents to the fore. It is crucial that the research community provide a way to publish this research in a timely manner.


To contribute to this important public health discussion, the Electronic Physician Journal is excited to announce a fast-track procedure to help researchers publish their articles on COVID-19 related subjects that fall under the broad definition of public health, internal medicine, and pharmacology. We are especially welcome to all hypotheses about the pathological basis of the COVID-19 infection and the possible characteristics of potential medicine and vaccine. Submit your manuscript here


Our previous editorial (June 2020)

Lessons from COVID-19 pandemic and the Morocco’s success story.

An editorial by Dr. Benksim Abdelhafid (Morocco)

Read more.


The 6th World Conference on Research Integrity (WCRI) is to be held on June 2-5, 2019 in Hong Kong.

The WCRI is the largest and most significant international conference on research integrity. Since the first conference in Lisbon in 2007, it has given researchers, teachers, funding agencies, government officials, journal editors, senior administrators, and research students opportunities to share experiences and to discuss and promote integrity in research. Read more:


TDR Clinical Research and Development Fellowships

Call for applications

Deadline for submission: 7 March 2019, 16:00 (GMT)

TDR provides fellowships for early- to mid-career researchers and clinical trial staff (e.g. clinicians, pharmacists, medical statisticians, data managers, other health researchers) in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) to learn how to conduct clinical trials. Read more:

Meta-Analysis Workshops in New York, USA, and London, UK, in April and May 2019

Don't miss this exceptional opportunity to learn how to perform and report a Meta-analysis correctly. Two Meta-analysis workshops are organized in April and May 2019 by Dr. Michael Borenstein in New York, USA (April 08-10, 2019) and London, UK (May 27-29).

About the Instructor

Dr. Michael Borenstein, one of the authors of Introduction to Meta-Analysis, is widely recognized for his ability to make statistical concepts accessible to researchers as well as to statisticians. He has lectured widely on meta-analysis, including at the NIH, CDC, and FDA. Read more: