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Abusive head trauma: neuroimaging mimics and diagnostic complexities

  • Child abuse imaging
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Abstract

Traumatic brain injury is responsible for approximately half of all childhood deaths from infancy to puberty, the majority of which are attributable to abusive head trauma (AHT). Due to the broad way patients present and the lack of a clear mechanism of injury in some cases, neuroimaging plays an integral role in the diagnostic pathway of these children. However, this nonspecific nature also presages the existence of numerous conditions that mimic both the clinical and neuroimaging findings seen in AHT. This propensity for misdiagnosis is compounded by the lack of pathognomonic patterns and clear diagnostic criteria. The repercussions of this are severe and have a profound stigmatic effect. The authors present an exhaustive review of the literature complemented by illustrative cases from their institutions with the aim of providing a framework with which to approach the neuroimaging and diagnosis of AHT.

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Sidpra, J., Chhabda, S., Oates, A.J. et al. Abusive head trauma: neuroimaging mimics and diagnostic complexities. Pediatr Radiol 51, 947–965 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00247-020-04940-6

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