Nonaccidental Injury in the Elderly: What Radiologists Need to Know

Mohamed Badawy, Nadia Solomon, Khaled M. Elsayes, Moataz Soliman, Pedro Diaz-Marchan, Marc D. Succi, Ali Pourvaziri, Michael H. Lev, Vincent M. Mellnick, Angel Gomez-Cintron, Margarita V. Revzin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Elder abuse may result in serious physical injuries and long-term psychological consequences and can be life threatening. Over the past decade, attention to elder abuse has increased owing to its high prevalence, with one in six people aged 60 years and older experi-encing some form of abuse worldwide. Despite this, the detection and reporting rates remain relatively low. While diagnostic imaging is considered critical in detection of child abuse, it is relatively unde-rused in elder abuse. The authors discuss barriers to use of imaging for investigation and diagnosis of elder abuse, including lack of train-ing, comorbidities present in this vulnerable population, and lack of communication among the intra-and interdisciplinary care provid-ers. Moreover, imaging features that should raise clinical concern for elder abuse are reviewed, including certain types of fractures (eg, posterior rib), characteristic soft-tissue and organ injuries (eg, shoulder dislocation), and cases in which the reported mechanism of injury is inconsistent with the imaging findings. As most findings sug-gesting elder abuse are initially discovered at radiography and CT, the authors focus mainly on use of those modalities. This review also compares and contrasts elder abuse with child abuse. Empowered with knowledge of elderly victims’ risk factors, classic perpetrator characteristics, and correlative imaging findings, radiologists should be able to identify potential abuse in elderly patients presenting for medical attention. Future recommendations for research studies and clinical workflow to increase radiologists’ awareness of and partici-pation in elder abuse detection are also presented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1358-1376
Number of pages19
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2022


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