Abusive head trauma: Clinical, biomechanical, and imaging considerations

Lori D. Frasier, Brittany Coats

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Abusive head trauma (AHT) is a medical diagnosis that encompasses data from clinical and experimental studies. The neuroimaging evaluation is a critical piece of the diagnosis, but should not be considered separate from the biomechanical research, clinical history, laboratory testing, and any other investigative information that is felt to be clinically warranted. Furthermore, many clinical subspecialties in addition to pediatrics and medical imaging offer supportive diagnostic information that must be incorporated in the overall analysis of a case. The ophthalmologist, critical care specialist, emergency medicine physician, trauma surgeon, and neurosurgeon play vital roles in the clinical assessment. Investigative collaboration requires a close relationship with biomechanical engineering, law enforcement, Child Protective Services (CPS), and forensic pathology. Child abuse is unique compared with other diagnostic processes because there is no single or combined set of clinical indicators that proves a child has been abused. In fact, there are many medical conditions that can mimic some or all of the indicators seen in child abuse. Laboratory testing and clinical evaluation is essential in the identification of confounding medical conditions. However, in the context of a traumatic brain injury (TBI) in an infant or young child who, in the absence of other medical factors, does not have a sufficient history of trauma to account for the injuries, AHT leads the differential diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationDiagnostic Imaging of Child Abuse
PublisherCambridge University Press
Pages345-356
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9780511862366
ISBN (Print)9781107010536
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

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Craniocerebral Trauma
Child Abuse
Wounds and Injuries
Forensic Pathology
Law Enforcement
Emergency Medicine
Diagnostic Imaging
Critical Care
Neuroimaging
Differential Diagnosis
Pediatrics
Physicians
Research

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Frasier, L. D., & Coats, B. (2015). Abusive head trauma: Clinical, biomechanical, and imaging considerations. In Diagnostic Imaging of Child Abuse (pp. 345-356). Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511862366.022
Frasier, Lori D. ; Coats, Brittany. / Abusive head trauma : Clinical, biomechanical, and imaging considerations. Diagnostic Imaging of Child Abuse. Cambridge University Press, 2015. pp. 345-356
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Frasier, LD & Coats, B 2015, Abusive head trauma: Clinical, biomechanical, and imaging considerations. in Diagnostic Imaging of Child Abuse. Cambridge University Press, pp. 345-356. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511862366.022

Abusive head trauma : Clinical, biomechanical, and imaging considerations. / Frasier, Lori D.; Coats, Brittany.

Diagnostic Imaging of Child Abuse. Cambridge University Press, 2015. p. 345-356.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

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Frasier LD, Coats B. Abusive head trauma: Clinical, biomechanical, and imaging considerations. In Diagnostic Imaging of Child Abuse. Cambridge University Press. 2015. p. 345-356 https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511862366.022