Brain death

Case contributed by Ryan Thibodeau
Diagnosis certain


Cardiac arrest. Assess the brain following return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC).

Patient Data

Age: 35 years
Gender: Female

There is diffuse loss of gray-white matter differentiation. There is mass effect upon the ventricles and effacement of the basal cisterns. There is tonsillar and uncal herniation.

There is scattered mucosal thickening within the paranasal sinuses.

Cerebral perfusion study

Nuclear medicine

There is diffuse increased radiotracer uptake involving the soft tissues of the face/nose without radiotracer within the brain, indicating absence of cerebral perfusion.

Case Discussion

This is a case of an anoxic brain injury leading to brain death. This case demonstrates the hot nose sign and empty light bulb sign.

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