Radiologic Findings Can Be Key In Identifying Intimate Partner Violence Interview with:
“IMGP6403_qtu-no-violence” by Rae Allen is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Elizabeth George, MD
PGY-4 Radiology Resident
Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Dr. Bharti Khurana MD
Clinical Fellow, Harvard Medical School and
Assistant Director, Emergency Radiology
Director, Emergency Musculoskeletal Radiology
Program Director, Emergency Radiology Fellowship
Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: According to the CDC, 1 in 3 women in the United States are victims of abuse by their intimate partner. Despite the US Preventive Services Task Force recommendations, intimate partner violence (IPV) screening is still not widely implemented and IPV remains very prevalent and often under-recognized.

The goals of this study are to increase the awareness among physicians about this public health problem and to elucidate the potential role of imaging in the identification of these patients. In fact, there is a striking disparity in the literature on the role of imaging in identifying non-accidental trauma in children compared to intimate partner violence.

The common patterns of injury we identified in this population were soft tissue injuries (swelling, hematoma or contusion) followed by extremity fractures, which often involve the distal upper extremities, suggesting injury from defensive attempts. Other common injuries were facial fractures, which represent an easily accessible site for inflicting trauma, and pregnancy failure. Since radiologists have access to both current and prior radiological studies of these patients, they could play a critical role by putting the pieces together in identifying victims of IPV. What should readers take away from your report?

Response: The key result of our study is that we are recognizing new ways to identify victims of intimate partner violence and there might be more information available in the radiology images, which is evident only when we are cognizant of the subtle patterns of injury. If multiple of the injuries identified in this study are seen in a patient, either concurrently or distributed in time, it could be suggestive of intimate partner violence. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: In this study, we identified the common injuries in the intimate partner violence population. Further research is necessary to assess each of these injuries for distinct diagnostic patterns. Furthermore, the accuracy and predictive value of these injuries in distinguishing IPV victims from accidental trauma needs to be established. In the long run, we expect that the results of our study will promote awareness and pave the way for not only increased detection, but also better and integrated multidisciplinary management plans for these patients. Thank you for your contribution to the community.


RSNA 2017  abstract:

Acute Nontraumatic Back Pain: Infection or Mimic

Olga Laur, MD | Jacob C. Mandell, MD | David S. Titelbaum, MD | Charles H. Cho, MD, MBA | Stacy E. Smith, MD | Bharti Khurana, MD

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

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Last Updated on November 22, 2017 by Marie Benz MD FAAD