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Revista mexicana de oftalmología

versión On-line ISSN 2604-1227versión impresa ISSN 0187-4519


OROZCO-GOMEZ, Luis P. et al. Ocular repercussions of suspected abusive head trauma. Rev. mex. oftalmol [online]. 2021, vol.95, n.1, pp.20-27.  Epub 25-Jun-2021. ISSN 2604-1227.


To determine the ophthalmological findings in a case series of suspected abusive head trauma, as well as its sequels and treatment.


We conducted a retrospective case series of patients under one year of age with suspected history of abusive head trauma caused by shaking, direct trauma, or with a clinical presentation of seizures due to encephalopathy, retinal hemorrhage, or any other systemic repercussions suggestive of the shaken baby syndrome.


The study included 8 subjects, of which 5 were male (62%) and 3 female (38%), with a mean age of 4.12 months (± 2 months). All of them were examined by the ophthalmology department. In 7 cases (87%), the reason for consultation was seizures. In 57% of the studied cases, the mother was the person who witnessed the symptoms. Rib, skull, tibia, acromion, and collarbone fractures were radiologically diagnosed on 4 (50%) patients. All patients (100%) had bilateral vitreoretinal involvement including intraretinal haemorrhage (100%), vitreous hemorrhage (36%) and post-traumatic macular hole (21%). Vitrectomy was performed in 29%.


The combination of subdural hemorrhage, retinal hemorrhage and encephalopathy in subjects under one year of age, is considered indicative of abusive, inflicted or non-accidental head injury. While the triad can not confirm the diagnosis of the shaken baby syndrome, these findings are highly suggestive especially due to the lack of other explanations consistent with the clinical findings. It is highly disputable whether this diagnostic triad can be used as a confirmatory tool for an abusive direct trauma or both, and the legal consequences may be unsuspected.

Palabras llave : Brain damage; Cerebral hemorrhage; Child abuse; Retinopathy; Cranial trauma.

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