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Review

Shaken Baby Syndrome: Magnetic Resonance Imaging Features in Abusive Head Trauma

1
Emergency Radiology Unit, Department of Radiological, Oncological and Pathological Sciences, Umberto I University Hospital, Sapienza University of Rome, 00198 Rome, Italy
2
Department of Anatomical, Histological, Forensic and Orthopedic Sciences, Sapienza University of Rome, 00198 Rome, Italy
3
Neuroradiology Unit, NESMOS Department, Sapienza University, 00185 Rome, Italy
4
Neuroradiology Unit, Imaging Department, Bambino Gesù Children’s Hospital, IRCCS, 00165 Rome, Italy
5
Department of Human Neurosciences, Sapienza University of Rome, 00198 Rome, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Steven Threlkeld
Brain Sci. 2021, 11(2), 179; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci11020179
Received: 18 December 2020 / Revised: 25 January 2021 / Accepted: 26 January 2021 / Published: 1 February 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Prevention and Intervention for Pediatric Brain Injury)
In the context of child abuse spectrum, abusive head trauma (AHT) represents the leading cause of fatal head injuries in children less than 2 years of age. Immature brain is characterized by high water content, partially myelinated neurons, and prominent subarachnoid space, thus being susceptible of devastating damage as consequence of acceleration–deceleration and rotational forces developed by violent shaking mechanism. Diagnosis of AHT is not straightforward and represents a medical, forensic, and social challenge, based on a multidisciplinary approach. Beside a detailed anamnesis, neuroimaging is essential to identify signs suggestive of AHT, often in absence of external detectable lesions. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) represents the radiation-free modality of choice to investigate the most typical findings in AHT, such as subdural hematoma, retinal hemorrhage, and hypoxic-ischemic damage and it also allows to detect more subtle signs as parenchymal lacerations, cranio-cervical junction, and spinal injuries. This paper is intended to review the main MRI findings of AHT in the central nervous system of infants, with a specific focus on both hemorrhagic and non-hemorrhagic injuries caused by the pathological mechanisms of shaking. Furthermore, this review provides a brief overview about the most appropriate and feasible MRI protocol to help neuroradiologists identifying AHT in clinical practice. View Full-Text
Keywords: abusive head trauma; neuroimaging; MRI; child; infant; shaking mechanism abusive head trauma; neuroimaging; MRI; child; infant; shaking mechanism
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MDPI and ACS Style

Cartocci, G.; Fineschi, V.; Padovano, M.; Scopetti, M.; Rossi-Espagnet, M.C.; Giannì, C. Shaken Baby Syndrome: Magnetic Resonance Imaging Features in Abusive Head Trauma. Brain Sci. 2021, 11, 179. https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci11020179

AMA Style

Cartocci G, Fineschi V, Padovano M, Scopetti M, Rossi-Espagnet MC, Giannì C. Shaken Baby Syndrome: Magnetic Resonance Imaging Features in Abusive Head Trauma. Brain Sciences. 2021; 11(2):179. https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci11020179

Chicago/Turabian Style

Cartocci, Gaia, Vittorio Fineschi, Martina Padovano, Matteo Scopetti, Maria C. Rossi-Espagnet, and Costanza Giannì. 2021. "Shaken Baby Syndrome: Magnetic Resonance Imaging Features in Abusive Head Trauma" Brain Sciences 11, no. 2: 179. https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci11020179

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