[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Non-missile low velocity penetrating brain injuries are unusual among civilian population. They show specific characteristics different from missile wounds. In this paper we describe a rare case of self-inflicted penetrating head trauma by electric drill. We document neuroimaging studies and review the management concerning this pathology. To our knowledge, this is the first case of intracranial retained drill bit with such radiological findings reported in the literature. An 80-year-old male with no previous psychiatric disorder presented at our hospital after suffering an accident while working with an electric drill. Physical examination revealed right lower extremity plegia and three penetrating scalp wounds to the left parasagittal region. Skull X-ray and computed tomography demonstrated an intracranial metallic foreign body located in the left parietal lobe and an intraparenchymal hematoma with no mass effect close to the foreign body. The patient was taken to the operating room to remove the drill bit fragment. Antibiotic and antiseizure prophylaxis were administered. Postoperative computed tomography confirmed no residual metallic fragments and functional recovery was excellent. After psychiatric assessment, suicide attempt was confirmed and antidepressive therapy was then started. On follow-up, no complication was documented. It is essential to exclude penetrating brain trauma whenever a scalp wound is noticed in order to provide proper treatment and prevention care. The permanent neurological deficit in low velocity injuries is related to the degree and location of the primary injury. It also depends on an early diagnosis and treatment and the absence of delayed complications.
Clinical Neurology and Neurosurgery 03/2008; 110(2):207-10. · 1.23 Impact Factor