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Acta Neurochir (Wien). 2005 Mar;147(3):331-3; discussion 332-3.

Artistic assault: an unusual penetrating head injury reported as a trivial facial trauma.

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Division of Neurosurgery, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.


The authors report a case of penetrating head injury that presented with a deceptively mild complaint. To our knowledge, it is the first report of a paint brush penetrating the brain. The patient reported being punched in the left eye and presented with a minor headache, swelling around the left orbit, a small cut on the cheek and slightly reduced left eye abduction. After radiological evaluation, a penetrating head injury was diagnosed. Under general anesthesia, through a lateral eyelid incision a 10.5 cm long paint brush, which had penetrated from the left orbit to the right thalamus, was removed. No post-operative infection was seen at six months follow-up. This brief report serves to highlight that penetrating brain injury can occur without neurological deficit and that a minimally invasive surgical approach was successful in avoiding any complications.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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