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Study Of Hand Held Imaging Device Provides Evidence In Shaken Baby Syndrome Diagnosis

A handheld Spectral Domain Optical Coherence Tomography (SD-OCT) device provided high-resolution images of the retina and the vitreoretinal interface in infants with SBS, according to a study by Ophthalmologists who examined infants for possible Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS).

Optical coherence tomography uses near-infrared and other long wavelength light to penetrate deep inside the eye. This enables a close-up look at tissues not visible with traditional camera technology.

The study published in Retina looked at the retinal findings of three consecutive cases of suspected SBS as they presented to the Childrens Hospital Los Angeles emergency room. All three patients underwent complete ocular examination, fundus photography with the RetCam and imaging with the handheld SD-OCT device.

According to the study, of the six eyes examined, the SD-OCT device documented focal posterior vitreous separation in four of the eyes and multilayered retinoschisis in one eye. It also documented preretinal hemorrhages in five eyes. All patients had vitreoretinal abnormalities not detected on clinical examination (e.g. multilayered retinoschisis).

Thomas Lee, director of the Retina Institute in The Vision Center at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles, and one of the study authors, said: “Traditional imaging is often used in documenting retinal damage in the eyes of children with SBS. However, it does not enable physicians to examine the surface of the retina in great detail.

“The handheld SD-OCT device enables us to examine the vitreoretinal interface and microarchitecture of the retina. Ophthalmologists can then differentiate the cause of the retinal damage and say with a high degree of confidence that it was caused by repetitive shaking and not a fall or other accident.”

The Retina article, ‘Handheld Spectral Domain-Optical Coherence Tomography Finding in Shaken-Baby Syndrome,’ was co-authored by Rajeev Muni, MD, FRCSC; Radha Kohly, MD, PhD, FRCSC; Elliott Sohn, MD and Thomas Lee, MD.