mystery diagnosis

On Saturday I was sick and tired of studying, so I turned on the TV for what I thought would be a minute or two. I turned on The Discovery Health Channel, a good way for a med student to waste time with out feeling COMPLETELY unproductive.

First Dr. G the Medical Examiner was on. (Love Dr. G). The first autopsy was of a child that may or may not have died of SIDS. Great! A mystery! And SIDS was covered in the pediatric disease chapter I read last week. I guess I can keep watching. Then the second guy died in his sleep. The autopsy revealed he had some liver issues and in fact it looked to me like a nutmeg liver, and I just so happened to have Robbins open to a page with a picture of a nutmeg liver. This is fantastic! Then Mystery Diagnosis came on and I was about to turn off the TV but I didn’t do it quick enough and happened to see that the first case was of a boy with a “rash” all over his body. But I thought the rash looked more like petechiae or maybe purpura and thought maybe this is a vascular or bleeding issue. And isn’t that great since we just covered hemostasis in Medicine and are about to cover hematopathology in Path. I better keep watching so it will allow me to put it all in context, right? Two or so hours later the television was still on and I had read one page of my text book (which isn’t actually all that far behind my standard five page per hour pace).

The discovery health channel is addictive.

And while yes, the reason I couldn’t turn off the TV is because I’m lazy and undisciplined, it is also because mystery diagnoses are so interesting… it’s an aspect of medicine that I think many of us who are involved in medicine both love (because it’s a puzzle we can use our brains to solve) and hate (because it’s a puzzle we can’t solve). Occasionally either my mom or H-Dawg will cut the diagnosis section out of the Times Magazine for me to read at some point during the week. However, since they are taking an extremely extended weekend in the northeast, I will do the honors: Diagnosis: The Strep Throat That Wasn’t.


Filed under med school, mystery diagnosis

7 responses to “mystery diagnosis

  1. JBW

    But what did the rash turn out to be? You can’t start the mystery diagnosis without telling us what the answer was! I love that show.

  2. JBW

    Especially with that picture of the butt with the rash up there.

  3. drfrenchfry

    There were many pictures of purpura on google images, but there really was no way around using the purpurous rump.

    The child had Kawasaki’s Disease, which is an immune-mediated vasculitis (inflammation of the blood vessels). It can involve the coronary arteries and can result in aneurysms that can rupture or thrombose, which can cause acute myocardial infarction. The child also presented with fever, strawberry tongue, peeling skin, and a rash. I am still unclear as to whether or not the rash was purpura (bleeding under the skin, which can be caused by vasculitis) or if it was related to something else.


  4. JBW

    This means heart attack – acute myocardial infarction – right? What the heck is strawberry tongue?

  5. I once had blueberry balls.

  6. drfrenchfry

    well isn’t that a lovely image.

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