BOSTON, Aug. 24 (UPI) — Whole-body magnetic resonance imaging may help detect suspected child abuse in infants, U.S. researchers suggest.
Lead author Dr. Jeannette M. Perez-Rossello says the diagnosis of abuse relies heavily on the presence of skeletal injuries and a series of X-rays of all the bones in the body is recommended to visualize the often subtle high-specificity fractures seen in infant abuse.
Researchers at Children’s Hospital Boston and Harvard Medical School in Boston say the study involved 21 infants who underwent whole-body MRI — which uses a magnetic field, radio frequency pulses and a computer to produce detailed images of organs — for the evaluation of suspected child abuse. Summary skeletal survey, or X-rays, and whole-body MRI identified 167 fractures or areas of skeletal signal abnormality.
“Although our study results revealed that whole-body MRI is insensitive in the detection of classic metaphyseal lesions and rib fractures, we found it did identify soft-tissue injuries such as muscle edema and joint effusions that, in some cases, led to identifying additional fractures,” Perez-Rossello says in a statement.
The study is scheduled to be published in the September issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology.
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