Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Can we have a permanent end to ‘temporary brittle bone disease’?
  1. Richard Nicholl1,
  2. Indrani Banerjee2,
  3. Bhanu Williams2,
  4. Ximena Poblete2
  1. 1Neonatal Unit, Northwick Park Hospital, London, UK
  2. 2Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, Northwick Park Hospital, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Richard Nicholl, Neonatal Unit, Northwick Park Hospital, Watford Road, Harrow, London HA1 3UJ, UK; rnicholl{at}

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

‘In God we trust; all others must bring data.’ W Edwards Deming (attrib).

We were concerned to see a leading article1 in Archives of Disease in Childhood citing the fictitious2 term ‘temporary brittle bone disease’ (TBBD). Furthermore, we were dismayed to see that Paterson, an advocate of this term,3 has been honoured with a published response in the same.4 The only information in Dr Sprigg's article supporting the view that ‘TBBD has been proposed again as an alternative explanation for suspected non-accidental injury’ is a paper from Paterson in 2009 describing five cases as TBBD.5 On review, these cases were considered due to birth trauma, metabolic bone disease and forceful handling or NASI. It is, therefore, hard to understand why the journal would publish an article that could reopen a debate on TBBD.

We reviewed the primary papers that gave birth to the term ‘TBBD’. A literature review (Pub Med) using the search …

View Full Text


  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.