Lesions along the upper motor neuronal pathway with locked-in features after lightning strike and cardiac arrest: a case-review analysis

Brain Injury : [BI]
Susanne AbdullaWalied Abdulla

Abstract

This study describes a case of lesions of the upper motor neuronal pathway with locked-in features after lightning strike and cardiac arrest. A case-review analysis. In a 29-year-old male who was hit by a lightning strike during farming activities, cardiopulmonary resuscitation was provided first by co-workers and continued with success by the medical rescue service. After conducting advanced life support under monitoring and therapeutic hypothermia, quadriplegia with facial diplegia was recognized. A review was undertaken detailing the clinical course. MR imaging presented signs consistent with hypoxia-induced damage and diffusion-weighted MR images revealed pronounced damages along the upper motor neuronal pathway. A reactive electroencephalogram pattern, sustained eye movement and the patient communicating via eye-blinking were interpreted as locked-in features. Two weeks after admission the patient was transferred to a neurological rehabilitation centre for further professional care. Direct damage of the upper motor neuron pathway due to the current of the lightning should be considered, albeit the relative contribution of hypoxia-induced damage cannot be separated.

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