Brain death

Case contributed by Ryan Thibodeau
Diagnosis certain


Found down following drug overdose. Unresponsive on physical exam.

Patient Data

Age: 30 years
Gender: Male

There is diffuse gyriform restricted diffusion in the frontal, parietal, and occipital lobes and to a lesser extent at the temporal lobes. In addition, there is bilateral restricted diffusion in the thalami, caudate and putamen nuclei. There is corresponding cortical edema and sulcal effacement.

Nuclear medicine

There is distribution of radiotracer within the scalp, maxillofacial, and upper thoracic soft tissues. There is no distribution of radiotracer within the cerebral or cerebellar hemispheres.

Case Discussion

This is a case of brain death, characterized by the absence of cerebral perfusion on the nuclear medicine study. The MRI findings are concordant with diffuse anoxic injury.

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