Nonaccidental Head Injury (Child Abuse)

  • Bruno Bernardi
  • Christian Bartoi


The spectrum of disorders encompassed by the term “child abuse,” originally described by Tardieu in 1886 [1], became a medical entity with the studies of Caffey in 1946 [2], 1972 [3], and 1974 [4], Wooley and Evans in 1955 [5], Kempe in 1962 [6] and 1972 [7], and Silverman in 1972 [8]. Nowadays, the term includes emotional and/or neglect, sexual, and physical abuse. Nonaccidental head injuries (NAHI) represent only 12% of physical injuries in child abuse, but are the leading cause of death in abused children under 2 years of age [9] and the most common cause of traumatic death in infancy [10, 11, 12]. Nonaccidental (inflicted) injuries typically occur in children under 2 years of age, particularly in the first year of life. Risk factors include young parents, low socio-economic status, unstable family situation, and disability or prematurity of the child. It should be remembered that children affected by developmental disorders are at higher risk of abuse.


Apparent Diffusion Coefficient Head Injury Child Abuse Subdural Hematoma Skull Fracture 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bruno Bernardi
    • 1
    • 2
  • Christian Bartoi
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of NeuroradiologyBellaria HospitalBolognaItaly
  2. 2.Department of RadiologyWayne State University and Michigan Children’s HospitalDetroitUSA
  3. 3.Department of RadiologyOakwood HospitalDearbornUSA

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