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Am J Forensic Med Pathol. 1996 Jun;17(2):99-102.

Lichtenberg figures.

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Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery, University of Miami School of Medicine, FL, USA.


The majority of cutaneous injuries seen in victims struck by lightning are superficial and heal without sequelae. Common cutaneous findings associated with lightning strike include punctate full-thickness burns, linear charring, and contact burns from overlying metal objects. Branching or ferning marks are an uncommon and unusual cutaneous manifestation. These ferning patterns are called Lichtenberg figures. Similar-appearing electrical phenomena were first noted by an 18th-century physicist of the same name. A case report with review of the literature is presented. The histopathologic features of the figures are described for the first time.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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