Aspects of Abuse: Abusive Head Trauma
Current Problems in Pediatric and Adolescent Health Care
© 2015 Mosby, Inc. Abusive Head Trauma (AHT) is a form of child physical abuse that involves inflicted injury to the brain and its associated structures. Abusive Head Trauma, colloquially called Shaken Baby Syndrome, is the most common cause of serious or fatal brain injuries in children aged 2 years and younger. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the term Abusive Head Trauma, as opposed to Shaken Baby Syndrome, as the former term encompasses multiple forms of inflicted head injury (inertial, contact, and hypoxic-ischemic) and a range of clinical presentations and radiologic findings and their sequelae. Children diagnosed with AHT are 5 times more likely to die compared with accidentally head-injured children, yet signs and symptoms are not always obvious, and therefore the diagnosis can be overlooked. Therefore, the American Academy of Pediatrics has tasked pediatricians with knowing how and when to begin an evaluation of children with signs and symptoms that could possibly be due to AHT. Overall, a detailed history of present illness and medical history, recognition of physical and radiological findings, and careful interpretation of retinal pathology are important aspects of formulating the differential diagnoses and increasing or decreasing the index of suspicion for AHT.
Hinds, T., Shalaby-Rana, E., Jackson, A., & Khademian, Z. (2015). Aspects of Abuse: Abusive Head Trauma. Current Problems in Pediatric and Adolescent Health Care, 45 (3). http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cppeds.2015.02.002