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The following is a summary of the systematic review findings up to the date of our most recent literature search. If you have a specific clinical case, we strongly recommend you read all of the relevant references as cited and look for additional material published outside our search dates.


  • Infrequently recorded 1-3
  • In a child less than three years of age with intracranial injury and apnoea, the positive predictive value for abusive head trauma is 93% (95% confidence interval (CI) 73%-99%) and odds ratio of 17.1 (95%CI 5 – 58, p<0.001) 1-3
  • Apnoea was variably defined between studies 1-3

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  1. Hettler J, Greenes DS. Can the initial history predict whether a child with a head injury has been abused? Pediatrics 2003;111(3):602-607 [Pubmed]
  2. Keenan HT, Runyan DK, Marshall SW, Nocera MA, Merten DF. A population-based comparison of clinical and outcome characteristics of young children with serious inflicted and noninflicted traumatic brain injury. Pediatrics. 2004;114(3):633-639 [Pubmed]
  3. Kemp AM, Stoodley N, Cobley C, Coles L, Kemp KW. Apnoea and brain swelling in non-accidental head injury. Archives of Disease in Childhood. 2003;88(6):472-476, discussion 476 [Pubmed]


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