Neuroimaging for Children Presenting with Head Trauma

Authors: Robert W. Block, MD, FAAP


This issue of the Southern Medical Journal contains an important article by Fickenscher et al,1 describing neuroimaging findings in a group of 58 children younger than 20 months, evaluated for either abusive head trauma (AHT)2 or accidental head injury. The paper concludes with three interesting findings: 1) children in both the abuse and accident cadres had a significant incidence of normal neurologic findings, 2) there is a significant difference between the incidence of neurologic asymptomatic presentations between the two groups (25.8% vs 55.6%, respectively), and 3) there was a significant incidence of cranial and intracranial trauma detected in both groups.

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1.Fickenscher KA, Dean JS, Mena DC, et al. Occult cranial injuries found with neuroimaging in clinically asymptomatic young children due to abusive compared to accidental head trauma. South Med J 2010;103:121–125.
2.Christian CW, Block R; Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect; American Academy of Pediatrics. Abusive head trauma in infants and children. Pediatrics 2009;123:1409–1411.