(Received 26 October 1999; accepted 3 March 2000)
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Report of two cases of lethal infantile subdural bleedings (SDB). Bridging vein (BV) ruptures were directly proven as the source of the (minimal) SDB by a postmortem X-ray. In the controversial discussion concerning the causes of infantile SDB, proof of the occurrence of several BV ruptures is seen as an important sign of a trauma of significant degree. Although infantile SDB undoubtedly can result from accidental as well as intentional injuries, and therefore, the SDB itself does not allow far-reaching conclusions as to the cause of injury, the presence of several BV ruptures combined with an SDB of insignificant volume, in an infant dead or in a deep coma on clinical presentation, is not compatible with the supposition of a minor fall as the cause. We have not observed such findings as the result of a minor accidental event for more than 15 years.
Institute of Forensic Medicine, University Hospital Benjamin Franklin, Free University of Berlin, Berlin,
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