External Hydrocephalus as a Cause of Infant Subdural Hematoma: Epidemiological and Radiological Investigations of Infants Suspected of Being Abused
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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OriginalversjonPediatric Neurology. 2022, 126, 26-34. 10.1016/j.pediatrneurol.2021.09.018
Background Acute subdural hematoma (ASDH) and chronic subdural hematoma (CSDH) in infants have been regarded as highly specific for abuse. Other causes of CSDH have not been investigated in a large population. Purpose The purpose of this study was to investigate to what extent external hydrocephalus is present in infants with ASDH and CSDH undergoing evaluation for abuse. Material and methods Eighty-five infants suspected of being abused, with ASDH (n = 16) or CSDH (n = 69), were reviewed regarding age, risk factor profiles, craniocortical width (CCW), sinocortical width (SCW), frontal interhemispheric width (IHW), subarachnoid space width (SSW), and head circumference (HC). In infants with unilateral subdural hematoma (SDH), correlations between contralateral SSW and ipsilateral CCW and SDH width were investigated. Results Infants with CSDH had significantly lower mortality, were more often premature and male, and had significantly higher CCW, SCW, IHW, and SSW than infants with ASDH (P < 0.05). Ipsilateral CCW (R = 0.92, P < 0.001) and SDH width (R = 0.81, P < 0.01) correlated with contralateral SSW. Increased HC was more prevalent in infants with CSDH (71%) than in infants with ASDH (14%) (P < 0.01). Forty-two infants, all with CSDH, had at least one of CCW, SCW, or IHW ≥95th percentile. Twenty infants, all with CSDH, had CCW, SCW, and IHW >5 mm, in addition to increased HC. Conclusion A substantial proportion of infants with CSDH who had been suspected of being abused had findings suggesting external hydrocephalus.