Role of Susceptibility-Weighted Imaging in Detecting Retinal Hemorrhages in Children with Head Trauma

Mehmet Gencturk, Isa Cam, Yasemin Koksel, Alexander M. McKinney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Purpose: This study was carried out to evaluate the utility of susceptibility-weighted imaging (SWI) in demonstrating retinal hemorrhages (RH) in pediatric head trauma. Methods: Over a period of 7 years 67 children (age 0–4 years) with head trauma and MRI were included as either abusive head trauma (AHT) (n = 23), non-abusive head trauma (NAHT) (n = 38), or indeterminate (n = 6). Two pediatric neuroradiologists jointly reviewed the MR images for the presence of RH and sensitivity and specificity of SWI and T2WI were calculated. Results: The dilated fundoscopic examination (DFE) was positive for RH in 18/23 (78.3%) of the AHT group, 5/38 (13.2%) in the NAHT group, and 4/6 (66.7%) in the indeterminate group. Regarding the SWI MRI findings, SWI was positive for RH in 13/23 (%56.5), while T2WI was positive in 6/23 (%26.1) of the AHT group. Based on utilizing DFE as a standard, the sensitivity and specificity of SWI in the detection of RH was 63% and 100%, respectively and 30% and 100%, respectively on T2WI. Conclusion: Our results suggest that SWI is a useful diagnostic tool for detection of RH in pediatric head trauma in whom DFE is difficult to perform.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)611-617
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Neuroradiology
Issue number3
Early online dateAug 5 2020
StatePublished - Aug 5 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.


  • Abusive head trauma
  • Nonabusive head trauma
  • Retinal hemorrhage
  • Susceptibility-weighted imaging
  • T2-weighted imaging


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