Straight Up with Sherri

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

CT Scan of Terri's Brain....IS IT TERRI'S BRAIN? And if so, "why was Terri being shunted in 1996?"


All That Glitters is a SHUNT

Next mystery: Why is there a shunt in Terri's ventricle? This CT image is "flipped" (i.e. the CT scan is mirror-image backwards which is just an inconsequential error made when scanning the image into the computer), so the right side is LEFT and vice versa. However, everyone can see, easily, the ovoid white object sitting in the front of the big black butterfly in the center of Terri's brain, correct?

That shining object is the tip of a shunt. A shunt is a tube inserted into the brain to reduce pressure caused by build-up of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in the brain. That big black butterfly in the middle of Terri's brain is her ventricular system, which holds the CSF and in Terri's case, it is enlarged (dilated).

Now...why was Terri being shunted in 1996? First, if Terri's brain damage was due to oxygen deprivation, her enlarged ventricles would be by a passive mechanism -- which is not amenable to shunting -- not by obstruction of the egress of CSF. To me, the presence of a shunt indicates obstruction to the flow of CSF that needs to be circumvented. Obstruction to flow is hard to postulate given the mechanism of Terri's brain injury (oxygen deprivation).

It would NOT be hard to postulate, however, if she had BLOOD in her head at some point in the past. So did she? Was there a history of trauma? I would like to see the BONE SCAN taken of Terri that purportedly showed evidence of traumatic type osseous uptake!

It is quite unusual to see high-pressure hydrocephalus when the mechanism of brain injury was INFARCTION; and, more so six years after the event.




Update on my grandmother: I just talked with my mother..... it is a matter of hours left for my dear grandmother to live. Please bear with me. I promise to stay on top of things and keep the news on Terri coming.


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