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Journal Article

Citation

Redleaf MI, McCabe BF. Ann. Otol. Rhinol. Laryngol. 1993; 102(11): 867-869.

Affiliation

Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City 52242.

Copyright

(Copyright © 1993, Annals Publishing)

DOI

unavailable

PMID

8239348

Abstract

A number of cases of otologic injuries by lighting strikes have been described in the otolaryngological literature. The mechanism of these injuries remains uncertain. We report 3 cases of lightning injury that presented to us. Analysis of these cases suggests that the mechanism of injury is direct conduction of electricity from the scalp to the soft tissues of the external auditory canal to the tympanic membrane. The conduits of the electrical surge are the subcutaneous blood vessels, smaller vessels being damaged more than larger vessels. Since the tympanic membrane central vessels are smaller than the canal vessels, the central area of the tympanic membrane would be most vulnerable, and this is seen clinically. A review of the literature supports this proposed mechanism of injury.


Language: en

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