Caution bungee jumpers! Macular hemorrhage possible

i-c2027a0cd4eda9ae9bd745e39cbbddcc-7-23-07 bungee -eye.jpg

Caution for bungee jumping enthusiasts!

The July "Images in Clinical Medicine" section of The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) presents a 25-year-old patient who went bungee jumping and developed a hemorrhage in the left eye. The image was contributed by Atul K. Jain, M.D. and Michael Gaynon, M.D. of Stanford University.

Here is an explanation taken directly from NEJM:

A 25-year-old woman with no clinically significant medical history and with normal coagulation and hematologic studies went bungee jumping from a vertical height of 150 ft (45.7 m). Immediately afterward, she noticed a substantial decrease in vision in her left eye, with a large central scotoma; no other symptoms were noted and there was no pain. On examination, the patient's right eye was found to have a normal disc and vessels (Panel A, arrowhead) and normal fovea and macula (Panel A, arrow). Examination of the left eye showed a normal disc and vessels (Panel B, arrowhead), but the foveal and macular architecture was obscured by a large macular hemorrhage just below the level of the internal limiting membrane (Panel B, arrow). Vision was 20/400 in the left eye when the patient used peripheral scanning and 20/20 in the right eye. The patient had a form of Valsalva retinopathy due to increased venous pressure in the upper body, brought about by sudden deceleration in the head-down position (such as occurs during bungee jumping). She underwent surgery with evacuation of the blood in the left eye. Visual acuity in the left eye 1 week later was 20/25 and has remained stable.

More like this