Modeling of inflicted head injury by shaking trauma in children: what can we learn?: Part II: A systematic review of mathematical and physical models

Jan Peter van Zandwijk, Marloes E. M. Vester, Rob A. Bilo, Rick R. van Rijn, Arjo J. Loeve

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Various types of complex biomechanical models have been published in the literature to better understand processes related to inflicted head injury by shaking trauma (IHI-ST) in infants. In this systematic review, a comprehensive overview of these models is provided. A systematic review was performed in MEDLINE and Scopus for articles using physical (e.g. dolls) and mathematical (e.g. computer simulations) biomechanical models for IHI-ST. After deduplication, the studies were independently screened by two researchers using PRISMA methodology and data extracted from the papers is represented in a “7-steps description”, addressing the different processes occurring during IHI-ST. Eleven papers on physical models and 23 papers on mathematical models were included after the selection process. In both categories, some models focus on describing gross head kinematics during IHI-ST events, while others address the behavior of internal head- and eye structures in various levels of detail. In virtually all physical and mathematical models analyzed, injury thresholds are derived from scaled non-infant data. Studies focusing on head kinematics often use injury thresholds derived from impact studies. It remains unclear to what extent these thresholds reflect the failure thresholds of infant biological material. Future research should therefore focus on investigating failure thresholds of infant biological material as well as on possible alternative injury mechanism and alternative injury criteria for IHI-ST.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)423-436
Number of pages14
JournalForensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology
Issue number3
Early online date20 Feb 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2019

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