Diagnosis of Long-Term Sequelae After Low-Voltage Electrical Injury

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid


The purpose of this study was to determine the efficacy of diagnostic tests and specialty consultations in aiding the diagnosis of long-term symptoms after low-voltage electrical injury (EI). A retrospective hospital chart review of low-voltage electrical-injured patients admitted to the outpatient burn clinic of a rehabilitation hospital was conducted (January 2002 to March 2006). Results of tests and specialty consultations were compared between patients with low-voltage contact injuries and patients with low-voltage flash injuries using Student's t-test and χ2 with a P < .05 considered significant. Forty patients were treated for low-voltage EI, and all injuries occurred at work. Three patients were excluded due to lack of exact voltage documentation. Of the remaining 37 patients, there were 31 males (83.8%) and 6 females (16.2%) with a mean age of 36.7 ± 11.0 years and a mean TBSA of 7.7 ± 7.3%. Of 83 specialty consultations, the most frequents were psychology (38.6%), physiatry (21.7%), neurology (15.7%), and orthopedic (8.4%). Eighty percent of consultations were negative (no pathology). Patients with electrical contact injury had more specialty consultations (68.7 vs 31.3%, P = .003), especially neurology (21.1 vs 3.8%, P = .027), and more tests than patients with electrical flash injury (86.5 vs 13.5%, P < .001). Four (6.3%) CT scans and 14 (21.9%) magnetic resonance imaging scans were performed in electrical contact injury patients, but the majority of their results were negative (75 and 71.4%, respectively). Ultrasound, bone scan, and x-rays were negative: 80, 100, and 100%, respectively. Low-voltage electrical-injured patients are frequently referred for specialty consultations and tests, which are usually not effective to correlate their long-term symptoms with the initial EI.

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles