Psammoma Bodies with Whorls

Meningioma Catenaccio

About the Artwork

Eva Catenaccio

About the artist: 

Eva Catenaccio is a medical student at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, NY. “I spent my summer rotating with the neurology service. I have always been a visual artist, but have found that as I used sketching to help me study anatomy and histology I became increasingly captivated by the inherent beauty of the human body across a spectrum of function to dysfunction. I like to imagine the patients who I meet examining the work for its validity as a reflection of their own illness experience.”

About the artwork:

“This is a digitally edited reproduction, in colored pencil on paper, of a microscope slide of cells from a meningioma, the most common tumor arising in the brain. Meningiomas are usually benign and often slow growing, but their location can cause serious neurological problems. I drew this after taking care of a young woman with a newly diagnosed brain mass. Participating in her care made me reflect on the inherent tension between caring for patients and learning from them. What is ‘interesting’ academically can cause us to overlook the patient’s experience of illness, which in this instance could include blindness, pain and fear. Similarly, while I can see a certain beauty in the tumor cells swirling on the slide, the patient may view the same slide very differently. As an artist, I am mindful of this and always try to keep the patient as the primary motivation for my work. In this drawing I hoped to capture both the chaos and the fragility of the period between the young woman’s diagnosis and the tumor’s eventual removal.”

Visuals editor:

Justin Sanders

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