Volume 36, Issue 3 (May 1991)

    The Eyes of Child Abuse Victims: Autopsy Findings

    (Received 21 February 1990; accepted 23 July 1990)


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    The authors studied 77 pairs of eyes removed from children who had died of suspected child abuse. Forty-seven of the cases had retinal hemorrhages. Those showing retinal hemorrhages were younger children and had fewer other stigmata of child abuse. Hemorrhages are more likely to occur in cases where the child was shaken or swung than in those with severe direct head trauma. The authors recommend that examination of the eyes be included in the autopsies of all small children who died without an obvious cause of death. Experience in both processing and reading of ocular material is necessary for reliable results.

    Author Information:

    Sathyavagiswaran, L
    Supervising pathologist, County of Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA

    Riffenburgh, RS
    Cinical Professor, A. Ray Irvine Ocular Pathology Laboratory, Doheny Eye Institute, University of Southern California School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA

    Stock #: JFS13084J

    ISSN: 0022-1198

    DOI: 10.1520/JFS13084J

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    Title The Eyes of Child Abuse Victims: Autopsy Findings
    Symposium , 0000-00-00
    Committee E30