Full-body MRI may help detect suspected child abuse

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Washington, Aug 21 (ANI): A new study has suggested that whole-body magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which can easily detect soft-tissue abnormalities, could be used in detecting suspected child abuse in infants.

The study, performed at Children's Hospital Boston and Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA, included 21 infants who underwent whole-body MRI for the evaluation of suspected child abuse.

Summary skeletal survey 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," said Jeannette M. Perez-Rossello, lead author of the study.

"Although our study indicates that whole-body MRI is currently unsuitable as a primary global skeletal imaging tool for suspected imaging abuse, it may be useful as a supplement to the skeletal survey in selected cases, particularly with regard to soft tissue injuries," said Perez-Rossello.

The findings were published in the American Journal of Roentgenology. (ANI)

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