, Volume 33, Issue 12, pp 868-871
Date: 16 Sep 2003

Cortical hypoxic-ischemic brain damage in shaken-baby (shaken impact) syndrome: value of diffusion-weighted MRI

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Shaken-baby syndrome (SBS) is a type of child abuse caused by violent shaking of an infant, with or without impact, and characterized by subdural hematomas, retinal hemorrhages, and occult bone fractures. Parenchymal brain lesions in SBS may be missed or underestimated on CT scans, but can be detected at an earlier stage with diffusion-weighted MRI (DW-MRI) as areas of restricted diffusion. We demonstrate the value of DW-MRI in a 2-month-old baby boy with suspected SBS. The pattern of diffusion abnormalities indicates that the neuropathology of parenchymal lesions in SBS is due to hypoxic-ischemic brain injuries, and not to diffuse axonal injury.