Which conditions are included in the differential diagnoses of physical child abuse when abusive head trauma (AHT) is present?

Updated: Apr 24, 2017
  • Author: Angelo P Giardino, MD, MPH, PhD; Chief Editor: Caroly Pataki, MD  more...
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Answer

Abusive head trauma (AHT)

In considering the differential diagnoses for the findings in AHT, the differential diagnosis subdural hematoma and retinal hemorrhages needs to be considered. For subdural hematoma, the differential diagnoses include accidental trauma, coagulation disorders, vascular malformations, the rare amino acid inborn error of metabolism glutaric aciduria type I (associated with acute encephalopathy and chronic subdural hematoma), and the folk-healing practice caida di mollera, in which a child with a sunken fontanel is inverted, held upside down by the ankles, and shaken.


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