Pediatric Traumatic Brain Injury and Associated Topics: An Overview of Abusive Head Trauma, Nonaccidental Trauma, and Sports Concussions

Anesthesiol Clin. 2019 Mar;37(1):119-134. doi: 10.1016/j.anclin.2018.10.002.


Pediatric traumatic brain injury (TBI) uniquely affects the pediatric population. Abusive head trauma (AHT) is a subset of severe pediatric TBI usually affecting children in the first year of life. AHT is a form of nonaccidental trauma. Sports-related TBI resulting in concussion is a milder form of TBI affecting older children. Current recommended perioperative management of AHT and sports concussions relies on general pediatric TBI guidelines. Research into more specific pediatric TBI screening and management goals is ongoing. This article reviews the epidemiology, mechanisms, clinical signs, and management of AHT and sports-related concussions.

Keywords: Brain injuries; Child abuse; Concussion; Mild traumatic brain injury; Preoperative evaluation; SCAT-3; Sports-related head injury.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Athletic Injuries / diagnosis*
  • Athletic Injuries / therapy*
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain Injuries, Traumatic / diagnosis*
  • Brain Injuries, Traumatic / therapy*
  • Child
  • Child Abuse / diagnosis*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods