Document Detail

The spectrum of postmortem ocular findings in victims of shaken baby syndrome.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  11794386     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
BACKGROUND: Ophthalmologists and ocular pathologists are called on to help identify children who have undergone violent shaking. The objective of this study was to describe the spectrum of postmortem ocular findings in victims of shaken baby syndrome and to correlate the ocular findings with the nonocular features found at autopsy. METHODS: The ocular pathology registry at the University of Ottawa Eye Institute was reviewed to identify all victims of fatal shaken baby syndrome whose eyes had been submitted for examination between Apr. 1, 1971, and Dec. 31, 1995. Autopsy reports were accessed from the hospital charts of the identified patients. RESULTS: Six patients, aged 1 to 34 months, were identified. Intraocular findings ranged from a focal globular hemorrhage at the posterior pole to extensive intraocular hemorrhage involving the entire retina with perimacular folds. All the children had evidence of optic nerve sheath hemorrhage. Nonocular findings included intracranial hemorrhage (in all cases), skull fracture (in two), rib fractures (in three) and high spinal cord hemorrhage (in four). The extent of the intraocular hemorrhage was not consistent with the nonocular findings. INTERPRETATION: Abused children may display a range of postmortem ocular findings, with intraocular hemorrhage varying from minimal to severe. These findings may not correlate with the severity of the child's other injuries. The presence of any retinal or optic nerve sheath hemorrhage in an infant, in the absence of an appropriate explanation for these findings, should raise suspicion of child abuse.
D H Marshall; S Brownstein; M W Dorey; D J Addison; B Carpenter
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Canadian journal of ophthalmology. Journal canadien d'ophtalmologie     Volume:  36     ISSN:  0008-4182     ISO Abbreviation:  Can. J. Ophthalmol.     Publication Date:  2001 Dec 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2002-01-16     Completed Date:  2002-05-13     Revised Date:  2004-11-17    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0045312     Medline TA:  Can J Ophthalmol     Country:  Canada    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  377-83; discussion 383-4     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Ophthalmology, University of Ottawa Eye Institute, Ottawa Hospital, Ont.
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MeSH Terms
Battered Child Syndrome / pathology*
Child Abuse
Child, Preschool
Craniocerebral Trauma / pathology
Eye Hemorrhage / pathology*
Eye Injuries / pathology*
Hematoma, Subdural / pathology
Subarachnoid Hemorrhage, Traumatic / pathology
Wounds, Nonpenetrating / pathology*
Comment In:
Can J Ophthalmol. 2002 Feb;37(1):4   [PMID:  11865959 ]

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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