Neuroimaging of abusive head trauma

Gary L. Hedlund, Lori D. Frasier

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

23 Scopus citations

Abstract

The diagnostic process for evaluating suspected abusive head trauma in infants and children has evolved with technological advances in neuroimaging. Since Caffey first described a series of children with chronic subdural hematomas and multiple long bone fractures, radiologists have played an important role, along with pediatricians and pathologists, in evaluating abused children. Neuroimaging modalities include ultrasound, CT scans, and MRI technology. Each has distinct clinical applications, as well as practical uses in the clinical diagnostic process of AHT. Importantly, neuroimaging assists in the process of differential diagnosis of other conditions which may mimic AHT. Collaboration between neuroradiologists, clinicians, and pathologists remains critical to making the appropriate diagnosis. Careful history, physical examination, and investigation by legal authorities form the components that result in accurate assessment of any case. This paper reviews pertinent neuroimaging modalities currently utilized in the diagnosis of AHT, describing clinical indications and a collaborative approach to this process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)280-290
Number of pages11
JournalForensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology
Volume5
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

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