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Forensic Sci Int. 2006 Nov 10;163(1-2):93-101. Epub 2005 Dec 20.

Representation of cerebral bridging veins in infants by postmortem computed tomography.

Author information

1
Institut f├╝r Rechts- und Verkehrsmedizin der Universit├Ątsklinik Heidelberg, Abteilung Postmortale Computertomographie, Vossstrasse 2, 69115 Heidelberg, Germany. kirsten_marion_stein@med.uni-heidelberg.de

Abstract

The postmortem diagnosis of shaken baby syndrome, a severe form of child abuse, may be difficult, especially when no other visible signs of significant trauma are obvious. An important finding in shaken baby syndrome is subdural haemorrhage, typically originating from ruptured cerebral bridging veins. Since these are difficult to detect at autopsy, we have developed a special postmortem computed tomographic (PMCT) method to demonstrate the intracranial vein system in infants. This method is minimally invasive and can be carried out conveniently and quickly on clinical computed tomography (CT) systems. Firstly, a precontrast CT is made of the infant's head, to document the original state. Secondly, contrast fluid is injected manually via fontanel puncture into the superior sagittal sinus, followed by a repeat CT scan. This allows the depiction of even very small vessels of the deep and superficial cerebral veins, especially the bridging veins, without damaging them. Ruptures appear as extravasation of contrast medium, which helps to locate them at autopsy and examine them histologically, whenever necessary.

PMID:
16364582
DOI:
10.1016/j.forsciint.2005.11.015
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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