Case Archive
Pediatric Neurology

Misreading of MRI leads to Progressive Hydrocephalus
Confidential Pennsylvania Settlement

An eight year old boy with a history of arrested hydrocephalus as an infant was evaluated by a pediatrician for headaches and seizures. The doctor ordered an MRI of the brain and interpreted it as normal. During the next 16 months the boy continued to suffer from seizures and his performance in school began to deteriorate. His ophthalmologist secured a copy of the MRI and recognized suggestions of hydrocephalus. He referred the boy to a neurosurgeon who installed a cranial shunt. After suit was commenced the pediatrician acknowledged misreading the MRI but denied the boy's hydrocephalus had progressed, asserting the condition had been static since the time of birth. She also denied the delay in treatment caused any brain damage. -. provided a pediatric neurologist who reviewed the MRI and earlier brain scans as well as medical records. By comparing the films he determined there was subtle evidence of passage of cerebro-spinal fluid into surrounding brain tissue. This indicated increased intracranial pressure and progressive hydrocephalus. He also established that intellectual impairment documented by neuropsychologic testing was causally related to the delay in treating the boy's hydrocephalus. During jury selection the case was settled for a very substantial sum.

Attorney for the plaintiff:
Robert F. Morris
Cutler, Clemm & Morris, P.C.
Plymouth Meeting, PA

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