Radiology in Suspected Child Abuse

Rick R. Van Rijn*, Rutger A.J. Nievelstein, Simon G.F. Robben

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


In 1946, the paediatric radiologist John P. Caffey was the first to describe the relation between the presence of multiple fractures of the long bones and subdural haematomas in six children in whom no previous trauma was known. Since then, radiology plays a pivotal role in the detection and description of fractures related to potential child abuse. It is not uncommon that radiologists are the first clinicians that raise the possibility of potential non-accidental injury. In this chapter the importance of radiological imaging protocols, such as those from the Royal College of Radiologists and the Society and College of Radiographers and the American College of Radiology, is highlighted. The different imaging techniques and their indications and limitations in living and deceased victims of potential child are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationForensic Aspects of Paediatric Fractures
Subtitle of host publicationDifferentiating Accidental Trauma from Child Abuse, Second Edition
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages30
ISBN (Electronic)9783031120411
ISBN (Print)9783031120404
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jun 2023


  • Bone densitometry
  • Computed tomography
  • Conventional radiography
  • Imaging protocol
  • Linear slot scanning
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Radiology


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