Background: Apparent life-threatening events (ALTEs) can encompass many different diagnoses. Nonaccidental trauma (NAT) is one potential serious diagnosis. Objective: (1) To identify key elements in the history and physical exam in infants presenting with an ALTE that aid in the subsequent diagnosis of NAT; and (2) to evaluate the role of diagnostic studies in these infants in confirming the diagnosis of NAT. Design/Methods: A retrospective chart review analysis, over a 2-year period, of infants with an ALTE was performed. From this group, all children with a discharge diagnosis of child physical abuse, shaken infant syndrome, or NAT were included in the study. Results: 4 patients were found to be victims of NAT based on their clinical histories and physical examinations. Although confirmatory, ophthalmologic exams, skeletal surveys, and head CT scans had a lower sensitivity for NAT. Conclusions: NAT should be considered when an infant is admitted for evaluation of an ALTE.
- Apparent life-threatening events
- Child abuse
- Nonaccidental trauma