AO CMF brings CT interpretation skills to a global audience

The free online learning tool improves knowledge in interpretating facial bones CT scans


AO CMF recently launched CTRead, a new learning tool for residents to train in interpreting computed tomography (CT) facial bone scans. CTRead is a formal web-based modular course. It helps users locate and identify all relevant facial fractures in CT scans in a logical, stepwise manner. The tool was developed by Wendall Mascarenhas. Talking to AO CMF, Dr Mascarenhas explained the importance and why he developed the course.

"CTRead was the solution to a problem I observed across most, if not all, oral and maxillofacial surgery programs globally. Although residents receive in-depth education in dental and medical school on the interpretation of periapicals, bitewings, panorex imaging, and chest x-rays, no formal training on the interpretation of CT scans was provided.

This was a clear gap given the amount of time residents spend on reviewing CT scans to make diagnoses.

As an OMFS resident, we are charged with looking at CT scans on a daily basis, whether it be for acute trauma, pathology, infection, or malignancy. The goal of CTRead was to bridge this gap in training by creating a structured, comprehensive course on how to interpret a CT scan of the face to identify all possible facial fractures.

We chose trauma as a starting point as it is the most globally relevant topic, and often the first scans that junior residents will see whilst on call. By partnering with the AO foundation, my goal was to provide ubiquitous and free access to this tool to enhance OMFS training and education globally.

We then published a pilot study to test the effectiveness of the course, and we found it improves their knowledge and competency in the interpretation of facial bone CT scans and their correct identification of the facial fractures. (*) 

I believe this training is invaluable to taking call at the beginning of residency, and helps avoid missing fractures or misdiagnosing others.

An invaluable component of the course is that we give residents more than 50 sample scans to interpret and practice on. This means that residents are not just observing or listening to educational content; rather they are active participants honing and developing core skills."


CTRead was initially published on its own platform, but to improve the support functions and accessibility, it has been made available in the AO Foundation's learning platform. It will be further developed to cover infection, pathology, and MRIs under AO CMF leadership in collaboration with Dr Mascarenhas.

CTRead has already trained over 3800 residents and has an overall satisfaction rate of 95.6%. The development of CTRead was supported by an AO CMF Start-up Grant in 2018, and would not have been possible without the dedication and hard work of Dr Daniel Richmond and Dr Genevieve Chiasson.

To access the tool, register here

About CTRead's creator

CTRead was created by Dr Wendall Mascarenhas from McGill University Health Centre in Montreal, Canada. Upon graduating from McGill, Dr Mascarenhas moved to Toronto where he now owns and operates a private practice and teaches at the University of Toronto.  Read more about and meet Mascarenhas here.


(*) Mascarenhas, W., Richmond, D., Chiasson, G. CTRead—A Revolutionary Approach to Training Residents in Computed Tomography Facial Bone Interpretation. J Oral Maxillofac Surg, September 2019, Vol. 77(9), 1841–1846.