Hong Kong Med J 2010;16:397-9 | Number 5, October 2010
Infantile cortical hyperostosis (Caffey disease): a possible misdiagnosis as physical abuse
Henny PW Lo, HY Lau, CH Li, KT So
Department of Paediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Tuen Mun Hospital, Tuen Mun, Hong Kong
Infantile cortical hyperostosis (Caffey disease) is a rare self-limiting inflammatory bony disease of early infancy. We report a 1-month-old Chinese boy with Caffey disease who presented with painful swelling over his shins bilaterally. Physical abuse was initially suspected, but the radiological findings of periosteal thickening over multiple bones (particularly the mandible), symmetrical involvement, diaphyseal involvement with sparing of the epiphysis, made Caffey disease a likely diagnosis. This report highlights that infantile cortical hyperostosis is an important differential diagnosis for children suspected of being abused, and clinicians should have a high index of suspicion to avoid misdiagnosis.
Key words: Bone diseases; Child abuse; Diagnosis, differential; Hyperostosis, cortical, congenital; Tibia
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