Unilateral retinal hemorrhages in shaken baby syndrome

Stephanie A. Arlotti, Brian J. Forbes, Mark S. Dias, Dean J. Bonsall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Purpose: To present a detailed series of patients with unilateral retinal hemorrhages in shaken baby syndrome. Methods: Patients with a diagnosis of Shaken Baby Syndrome evaluated by the Ophthalmology Department at Penn State University between January 1999 and January 2004 were reviewed. Patients were identified and their medical records, photographs, and computed tomographic scans were reviewed. Additional records were obtained from the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Results: Of the 12 patients evaluated at Penn State University, the age at presentation ranged from 6 weeks to 15 months, with an average age of 4.3 months. Six (50%) had bilateral intracranial hemorrhage, while 6 (50%) had unilateral intracranial hemorrhage. The six patients with unilateral intracranial hemorrhage all had ipsilateral retinal hemorrhages. The perpetrators were male (100%) and 11 (92%) were the babies' fathers. For the five patients evaluated at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, the age at presentation ranged from 4 weeks to 1 year, with an average of 4.35 months. Three (60%) had bilateral intracranial hemorrhage and two (40%) had unilateral intracranial hemorrhage. The perpetrators were male in four (80%) cases and three (60%) were the babies' fathers. Conclusions: These patients demonstrate the varied presentations of shaken baby syndrome. Unilateral retinal hemorrhages do not rule out the diagnosis of shaken baby syndrome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)175-178
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of AAPOS
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Ophthalmology


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