Human Anatomy at Colby

Laurel Whitney: Body Worlds Vital

February 14th, 2014 · Comments Off on Laurel Whitney: Body Worlds Vital



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On Monday January 27th our class took a trip to Boston to see the Body World’s Vital exhibit at Faneuil Hall Market Place (Body Worlds Vital Exhibit). This exhibit was a great chance to see the anatomy we have learned throughout the month in action. It was a great way to practice and review all the information we have learned about the human body. Being able to see real muscles on real bodies was very powerful and cemented my understanding of the material we had learned in lecture and lab. Being able to see the bodies in real life was amazing!

Pictures I took at the exhibit:


Tags: Body Worlds Vital

Laurel Whitney: Pig Heart Dissection

February 14th, 2014 · Comments Off on Laurel Whitney: Pig Heart Dissection




In lab we performed wet dissections of pig hearts. It was a crazy experience for me. I had never done a dissection before, and after I got over the smell of the formaldehyde it was amazing! It was such a powerful way to learn about the heart. Being able to hold a real heart and see where blood actually traveled was incredible. It very helpful for practicing the anatomy of the heart. It was also an amazing experience to hold a real heart in my hands. I was in awe of how powerful the heart was. The design and structure where so precise and intricate. The lab was inspiring and very exciting. I couldn’t believe how perfect this structure was, a perfect machine.

Pictures I took from the dissection:


LarelWhitneyHEart LarelWhitneyHEart2Here I am holding the heart      LarelWhitneyHEart3

A nice view inside right ventricle of the heart

LarelWhitneyHEart4In this shot you can see the pulmonary semi-lunar valves


This pictures shows the trabeculae carne in the right ventricle of heart and the moderator band

Tags: Lab

Laurel Whitney: Maine General Hospital in Augusta

February 14th, 2014 · Comments Off on Laurel Whitney: Maine General Hospital in Augusta




This week our class had the opportunity to go to Maine General Hospital in Augusta. When we first arrived we toured the hospital, hosted by medical students from the New England College of Medicine. The new hospital was an amazing facility! The rooms were spacious, the technology was impressive and the design was inspiring. We also had the chance to sit down in small groups and talk to the medical students. I learned a lot about how medical school was structured and rotations. It was great to hear how these students had gotten to where they are now, and hear about what they wanted to do in the future. They gave me great advice for college and got me really excited to attend medical school. Following the tour, our class gathered with the medical students and students from Kent’s Hill college preparatory school. Three groups from our class and three groups from Kent’s Hill presented on medical case studies. It was very nerve wracking to present in front of the doctors and medical students, but they provided us with encouraging feedback and support. It was great to be able to interact with the medical community in this way. It was a great learning experience and an amazing place to showcase our presentations.


Tags: Maine General

Grand Rounds: Epstein-Barr Virus and Infectious Mononucleosis Induced Acute Post-infectious Cerebellar Ataxia

January 29th, 2014 · Comments Off on Grand Rounds: Epstein-Barr Virus and Infectious Mononucleosis Induced Acute Post-infectious Cerebellar Ataxia

By:  Laurel W, Emma R, Peter W

One month before admission to Massachusetts General Hospital, a previously healthy 19 year old male presented with fatigue, fever, pharyngitis, and lymphadenopathy. A streptococcal pharyngitis (strep throat) test was found to be negative, and a heterophile antibody test (rapid test for mononucleosis) was found to be positive. The diagnosis of infectious mononucleosis due to Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) was made 17 days before admission.

Two weeks prior to admission, the patient presented with additional symptoms, including dysphagia and pain and difficulty hearing in the right ear. A diagnosis of otitis media was made and was treated with prednisone, amoxicillin, and azithromycin. 8 days prior to admission, the patient presented with severe ear pain, a perforated right tympanic membrane, and a bloody purulent in the external auditory meatus. The patient was treated with oral cefurozime and ciprofloxacin (antibiotics). Several days after visiting the ENT, the patient returned for a myringotomy (procedure to relieve pressure in ear by making incision in ear drum). Then, 6 days prior to admission, the patient experienced unsteadiness, slurred speech, and increasing gait imbalance.

Upon arrival the patient had experienced weight loss, decreased hearing, enlarged tonsils, falling, and truncal ataxia. Over the first four days of admission the patient was found to have opacification (indicating fluid in these areas) of right mastoid air cells and middle ear (as shown from MRI and CT scans), impaired ability to perform simple arithmetic, continued deterioration of speech, and balance. The CT scans of the cerebrum and cerebellum showed no abnormalities. The coordination test showed impairment in his motor functions. Slurred speech, clumsiness, ataxia (lack of coordination of movements) and otitis media led to the admission of the patient to neurology services.

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Although Guillian-Barre syndrome is the most common cause of post-infectious ataxia, it is accompanied by loss of reflexes, which were intact in this case. Although cerebral involvement due to executive dysfunction was considered, it could not explain all of the patient’s signs and symptoms. Hereditary and neurodegenerative diseases were ruled out due to lack of family history, normal imaging, and patient’s age. However, the patient’s symptoms, along with the diagnoses of infectious mononucleosis, led to the clinical diagnoses of an upper respiratory tract infection complicated by otitis media. The neurological symptoms also led to the diagnoses of post-infectious acute cerebellar ataxia (ACA) associated with Epstein-Barr virus. ACA is presumed to be an auto-immune response causing inflammation of the cerebellum leading to motor dysfunction.

Plasmapheresis and intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) were recommended for treatment as this course is directed at the immune response and therefore more effective. IVIG is administering a solution containing antibodies from the plasma of thousands of people and Plasmapheresis is the process of removing, treating, and returning blood plasma to a patient. Both techniques are common treatments for autoimmune disorders. On the fourth day in Massachusetts General Hospital a five day course of IVIG was begun; the patient responded rapidly and his symptoms improved. After the fifth day of treatment the patient had recovered 90% of his function. He then spent one day in a rehabilitation center and was discharged on the eighth day after admission with a full recovery.
Tracey A. Cho, M.D., Jeremy D. Schmahmann, M.D., and Mary E. Cunnane, M.D., et al. A 19-Year-Old Man with Otalgia, Slurred Speech, and Ataxia. N Engl J Med 2013;369:1253-1261

Tags: Grand Rounds