By Harriet Alexander – SMH.
Gilbert Laurie noticed his headache when he was watching television.
It came and went, growing in strength over the next few days but easing under the shower.
His GP told Mr Laurie to visit the emergency department, and those doctors told him he was dehydrated.
So he drank more water, but the headache got worse and now the shower was agony.
“It got heaps bad,” Mr Laurie said. “It was like a really bad, throbbing pain.”
By the time he arrived at St Vincent’s Hospital by ambulance, he was days away from death.
However, instead of dying, Mr Laurie became a test case in the use of an advanced magnetic resonance imaging [MRI] technique, which revealed information that was previously unknowable without a biopsy.
It is generally impossible for neurosurgeons to know whether patients presenting with lesions in the brain are suffering from a malignant tumour (very bad news), a lymphoma (better news, but not great) or a metastatic tumour (terrible).
However, the new MRI scanning technique allows neurosurgeons to differentiate between the blood vessels that will be present in different types of tumours.
The MRI signal is measured relative to normal brain tissue and it drops out and then recovers in seconds.
The percentage of signal recovery indicates what type of lesion is present: 60 indicates a malignant tumour, 90 indicates a lymphoma and 30 indicates a metastatic tumour…read the full article.