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J Neuroimaging. 1996 Apr;6(2):117-9.

Evaluating brain death with positron emission tomography: case report on dynamic imaging of 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose activity after intravenous bolus injection.

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  • 1Biomedical Imaging Center, University of Tennessee Medical Center, Knoxville, USA.


A dynamic positron emission tomography (PET) study of the head was performed over 1 hour after the intravenous bolus administration of 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG) to a 18-year-old patient with the clinical diagnosis of brain death. This dynamic PET study was performed on the seventh day after a severe posttraumatic closed-head injury. No intracerebral uptake or retention of tracer was noted, consistent with a diffuse absence of brain metabolism. A small amount of tracer was noted to slowly rise over time within the sagittal sinus, indicating that visualization of sagittal sinuses on technetium 99m-diethylene-triaminepentaacetic acid planar images could provide a falsely negative scintigraphic evaluation for the presence of brain death. It is concluded that PET FDG imaging may be a useful technique in evaluating patients for brain death.

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