Abused children often have spinal bleeding

By AuntMinnie.com staff writers

November 8, 2011 -- Spinal bleeding is often found in young children who are abused, which supports complete spine imaging for children undergoing brain MRI for moderate or severe traumatic brain injury, according to a study published online in Radiology.

In a study of 252 children 2 years old or younger who underwent treatment for abusive head trauma, a research team led by Arabinda Kumar Choudhary of Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center found that more than 60% of the children who underwent thoracolumbar imaging had evidence of spinal canal subdural hemorrhage. Only one of 70 children included in the study in an accidental trauma group had spinal subdural hemorrhage.

The researchers believe adding spine imaging to brain MRI could offer a pathway for distinguishing between abusive and accidental injury. More research is needed to improve knowledge of the relationship between abusive trauma and spinal bleeding and provide another tool for criminal investigators, according to the authors.


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