Send to

Choose Destination
J Perinat Med. 2007;35(5):366-75.

Clinical-radiological features of fractures in premature infants--a review.

Author information

Department of Diagnostic Imaging, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, ON, Canada.


Premature infants are more vulnerable to bone fractures than term infants for numerous reasons, directly or indirectly related to prematurity. Although the reported incidence of fractures in this vulnerable population is somewhat inconsistent, the increased risk is clear. Metabolic disorders, genetic disease, accidental trauma, and non-accidental injury can all account for fractures in premature infants, so that determining the etiology is of importance. This increased risk does not appear to continue into childhood. Thus, most of these fractures would be found in children <3 years of age, often within the first year of life. Unfortunately, this is the same age group in which the majority of non-accidental injury (NAI) cases, frequently presenting with fractures, are seen. Further confounding the diagnosis is the possibility of previously undiagnosed fractures from trauma during delivery, and fractures due to bone weakening by metabolic diseases. A multi-dimensional approach using a combination of diagnostic procedures is necessary to properly identify the location of the fractures, the bone structure and characteristics, and the history with regards to family situation and medical treatment. This paper reviews the potential factors related to fractures in premature infants and the differential diagnoses of child abuse fractures.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Sheridan PubFactory
Loading ...
Support Center