rss
BMJ Case Reports 2009; doi:10.1136/bcr.06.2009.2008
  • Findings that shed new light on the possible pathogenesis of a disease or an adverse effect

A lightning strike to the head causing a visual cortex defect with simple and complex visual hallucinations

  1. Ingo Kleiter1,
  2. Ralf Luerding1,
  3. Gerhard Diendorfer2,
  4. Helga Rek1,
  5. Ulrich Bogdahn1,
  6. Berthold Schalke1
  1. 1
    Department of Neurology, University of Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany
  2. 2
    Austrian Lightning Detection and Information System (ALDIS), Vienna, Austria
  1. I Kleiter, ingo.kleiter{at}klinik.uni-regensburg.de
  • Published 7 July 2009

Summary

The case of a 23-year-old mountaineer who was hit by a lightning strike to the occiput causing a large central visual field defect and bilateral tympanic membrane ruptures is described. Owing to extreme agitation, the patient was sent into a drug-induced coma for 3 days. After extubation, she experienced simple and complex visual hallucinations for several days, but otherwise largely recovered. Neuropsychological tests revealed deficits in fast visual detection tasks and non-verbal learning and indicated a right temporal lobe dysfunction, consistent with a right temporal focus on electroencephalography. At 4 months after the accident, she developed a psychological reaction consisting of nightmares, with reappearance of the complex visual hallucinations and a depressive syndrome. Using the European Cooperation for Lightning Detection network, a meteorological system for lightning surveillance, the exact geographical location and nature of the lightning strike were retrospectively retraced

Footnotes

  • Competing interests: None.

Register for free content

The full text of all Editor's Choice articles and summaries of every article are free without registration

The full text of Images in ... articles are free to registered users

Only fellows can access the full text of case reports (apart from Editor's Choice) - become a fellow today, or encourage your institution to, so that together we can grow and develop this resource

Don't forget to sign up for content alerts so you keep up to date with all the case reports as they are published, and let us know what you think by commenting on the Editor's blog

Navigate This Article