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27.03.2019 | Original Article | Ausgabe 2/2019 Open Access

Forensic Science, Medicine and Pathology 2/2019

Frequency of macroscopic intradural hemorrhage with and without subdural hemorrhage in early childhood autopsies

Forensic Science, Medicine and Pathology > Ausgabe 2/2019
Emma C. Cheshire, Mike J. P. Biggs, Frances E. Hollingbury, Virginia L. Fitzpatrick-Swallow, Thomas R. A. Prickett, Roger D. G. Malcomson
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Some authors have suggested that in the fetus, neonate and infant, intradural hemorrhage (IDH) is relatively common and often presents alongside subdural hemorrhage (SDH). These authors have theorized that pediatric SDH may result from an IDH due to blood leakage from a dural vascular plexus. In this study, we report the inter-observer variation for detection of IDH from a retrospectively collected series of pediatric autopsy photographs, with and without SDH. Autopsy photographs of the falx and tentorium from 27 neonatal, infant and early childhood autopsies were assessed by two independent consultant forensic pathologists blinded to all case histories for the presence and extent (focal or diffuse) of IDH. Inter-observer agreement between the pathologists was calculated using Cohen’s kappa coefficient. The occurrence of subdural hemorrhage was also recorded at autopsy. A kappa coefficient value of 0.669 (p = 0.001), indicated a substantial level of agreement for the presence/absence of IDH between the pathologists. For the extent of IDH a kappa coefficient value of 0.6 (p = 0.038) indicated a moderate level of agreement. The pathologists agreed on the presence of IDH in 10 of the 27 cases. Subdural hemorrhage was recorded for 8 out of 27 cases. Of these 8 cases, it was agreed that 4 had IDH. Using standardized methods of image capture and assessment, inter-observer agreement for the presence/absence of IDH was substantial. In this paper, we report a much lower frequency of macroscopic IDH occurring alongside SDH than previous studies, which included both gross observation of IDH and histological examination.

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