Rare retinal haemorrhages in translational accidental head trauma in children
Wissenschaftlicher Artikel/Review - 17.10.2008
Sturm Veit, Knecht P B, Landau K, Menke M N
The characteristic findings in accidental head injury consist of linear skull fracture, epidural haematoma, localized subdural haematoma, or cortical contusion because of a linear or translational impact force. Retinal haemorrhages have been found, although uncommon, in accidental head trauma.
We performed a retrospective study of 24 consecutive cases of children with severe head injuries caused by falls. Inclusion criteria were skull fractures and/or intracranial haemorrhages documented by computerized tomography. All patients underwent a careful ophthalmic examination including dilated indirect fundoscopy within the first 48 h following admission.
No retinal haemorrhages could be found in patients whose accidents were plausible and physical and imaging findings were compatible with reported histories. Excessive bilateral retinal haemorrhages were found in only three children with the typical signs of shaken baby syndrome. In eight children, trauma had led to orbital roof fractures.
Retinal haemorrhages were not found in any of the patients with accidental trauma despite the severity of their head injuries. Hence, we add more evidence that there are strong differences between the ocular involvement in accidental translational trauma and those in victims of non-accidental trauma. Fall-related injuries carry a very low risk of retinal haemorrhages.