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Pediatrics. 2012 Jun;129(6):e1388-96. doi: 10.1542/peds.2011-2772. Epub 2012 May 21.

Prevalence of retinal hemorrhages in critically ill children.

Author information

1
Paediatric and Neonatal Intensive Care Units, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, London, United Kingdom. shragrawal@gmail.com

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Retinal hemorrhages (RHs) with encephalopathy and subdural bleeding are considered suggestive of abusive head trauma (AHT). Existing studies describing RH focus on AHT and have potential selection bias. We undertook a prospective observational study to define the prevalence, distribution, and extent of RH in critically ill children.

METHODS:

From February 2008 to December 2009, emergency intensive care admissions ≥ 6 weeks of age underwent dilated retinal examination by either a pediatric ophthalmologist or RetCam (retinal photograph) imaging after written informed consent. Patients with suspected or proven AHT, penetrating eye trauma, and elective admissions were excluded.

RESULTS:

The prevalence of RH was 15.1% (24/159; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 9.5%-21%); 16/24 (66%) mild, and 2/24 (8%) moderate. Severe multilayered RH were seen in only 6 patients (3.7%), 3 with myeloid leukemia and sepsis, 2 with severe accidental head injury, and 1 with severe coagulopathy secondary to late onset hemorrhagic disease of newborn. There was no detectable impact of age, gender, seizures, coagulopathy or cardiopulmonary resuscitation on prevalence of severe multilayered RH; however, sepsis (odds ratio: 3.2; 95% CI: 1.3-8.0, P = .018) and coagulopathy (odds ratio: 2.8; 95% CI: 1.2-7.0, P = .025) were significantly associated with any RH. Only admission diagnosis was independently associated with severe multilayered RH on logistic regression.

CONCLUSIONS:

RHs were seen in critically ill children with a prevalence of 15.1% (24/159); however, most were mild. Severe multilayered RH resembling those described in AHT were rare (6/24) and were only seen in patients with fatal accidental trauma, severe coagulopathy, sepsis with myeloid leukemia, or a combination of these factors.

PMID:
22614777
DOI:
10.1542/peds.2011-2772
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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