Perpetrator-confessed abusive head trauma cases linked to retinal haemorrhages

June 26, 2013

The incidence of retinal haemorrhages in abusive head trauma in paediatric patients for known perpetrators, regardless of a confession, is similar, reveals a paper.

The incidence of retinal haemorrhages in abusive head trauma in paediatric patients for known perpetrators, regardless of a confession, is similar, reveals a paper.

A retrospective chart review led by Dr Majida Gaffar, Department of North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health Systems, Great Neck, New York, evaluated the relationship between the presence of retinal haemorrhages and identified perpetrators in 48 cases of abusive head trauma.

All abusive head trauma cases were categorized into perpetrator confessed (Category A), perpetrator identified without confession (Category B) and no perpetrator identified (Category C).

There were 18 cases in category A, 16 in B and 14 in C with retinal haemorrhages in 88%, 75% and 43% of patients in A, B and C, respectively. There was a statistically significant difference in presence of retinal haemorrhages between categories with the perpetrator identified and no perpetrator identified.

Difference in retinal haemorrhages was linked to higher incidence of acute presentation in the perpetrators identified groups compared to category C. Decreased occurrence of retinal haemorrhages was statistically correlated to a lower incidence of acute presentation in abusive head trauma cases without an identified perpetrator.

The abstract can be read in the Journal of Paediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus.