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Magnetic resonance imaging of optic nerve and optic sheath hemorrhages in child abuse


In abusive head trauma victims, optic nerves and optic sheath hemorrhages are commonly associated with retinal hemorrhages. Until now, optic nerve and optic nerve sheath hemorrhages related to abusive head trauma have been identified by exenteration and soft-tissue sectioning during postmortem examination. In 2013, we proposed the use of tailored high-resolution susceptibility-weighted imaging (SWI) MRI sequences to depict retinal hemorrhages in lieu of the gold standard dilated fundus exam, in select patients, and in 2017 we showed how the same high-resolution sequences used in the coronal plane can depict ruptured bridging veins in abusive head trauma. This paper describes the new potential diagnostic application of high-resolution axial and coronal SWI in the diagnosis of optic nerve and optic sheath hemorrhages.

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I would like to thank my family, Tecla, Chiara and Giulia, for their support, and Coleen Cooper and Dennis Willaman, MR technologists, for their outstanding dedication to the patients of Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.

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Correspondence to Giulio Zuccoli.

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Zuccoli, G. Magnetic resonance imaging of optic nerve and optic sheath hemorrhages in child abuse. Pediatr Radiol 51, 997–1002 (2021).

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