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Perfusion “Brain Death“ Scintigraphy in Traumatic and Hypoxic Cerebral Insults: Correlation With CT

Kim, Andrew Chae MD; Colletti, Patrick M. MD

doi: 10.1097/RLU.0b013e318262c799
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Abstract: In the United States, approximately 1.7 million patients are treated annually for traumatic brain injury, and cerebrovascular insults are the third leading cause of death. Although CT plays a central role in the initial assessment of suspected intracranial injury, planar brain scintigraphy provides valuable information regarding cerebral perfusion, function, and brain death. An understanding of the complexity of injuries is helpful in scintigraphic image interpretation. To illustrate potential scintigraphic confounders, we present 8 suspected brain death cases with correlative CT. Even with negative brain death studies, severe brain injury by CT portends grave outcomes.

From the Department of Radiology, Division of Nuclear Medicine, Keck School of Medicine University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA.

Received for publication April 9, 2012; revision accepted May 30, 2012.

Conflicts of interest and sources of funding: none declared.

Reprints: Andrew Chae Kim, MD, Department of Radiology, University of Southern California, D+T Room 3D321, Los Angeles, CA 90033. E-mail:

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brain death; cerebral perfusion; cerebral trauma; cerebral hypoxia; hot nose sign; CT

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.