Apparent diffusion coefficient values predict outcomes of abusive head trauma

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To evaluate the apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) values for predicting the long-term neurodevelopmental outcomes of patients with abusive head trauma (AHT).


Apparent diffusion coefficient maps were retrospectively reviewed for 14 patients who presented with AHT at a mean age of 6.7 months (range 1–18 months), and the clinical outcomes of the survivors were based on the Glasgow Outcome Score.


One of 14 infants died, and two were severely disabled. One had mild impairment and four had moderate disability. In the 4 days after admission, the ADC values in all brain regions were strongly associated with a poor neurodevelopmental outcome (p < 0.05): basal ganglia, thalamus, brain stem, corpus callosum, frontal white matter, central white matter, parietal white matter, frontal grey matter, parietal grey matter, cerebellar vermis, cerebellar cortex and mean total brain.


Apparent diffusion coefficient values during the acute phase of AHT were significantly associated with poor long-term neurodevelopmental outcomes.

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