Monday, January 28, 2013

Truth Serum

A patient is referred to your interventional neurology practice for pre-operative assessment prior to temporal lobe resection. Other than a longstanding history of refractory seizures, the patient is healthy. You place a percutaneous transfemoral catheter under local anesthesia into the femoral artery. You guide the catheter into the left carotid artery. You inject 100mg of truth serum, shown above. Then, you ask the patient to speak, repeat sentences, answer questions, and memorize a series of pictures. Afterwards, you repeat the procedure with the right carotid artery.

Challenge: What procedure did you just perform?

Image shown under Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike License.


Reflex Hammer said...

The Wada test!

Craig Chen said...

hooray! not sure whether you can even get amytal these days, but it's a fascinating procedure.
Truth Serum

This is the Wada test, where intracarotid injection of amobarbital allows for assessment of language and memory in each hemisphere independently. It can be used to predict risk of impairments after temporal lobe resection.

Sources: UpToDate; Wikipedia.