AIRhead Medical Review

Improbable diagnoses, techniques, and research

compiled by Bertha Vanatian, MD


High Maintenance Woman

"A Woman With Panic Attacks and Double Vision Who Liked Cheese," T. Vogt and P. Hassler, The Lancet, vol. 354, no. 9175, July 24, 1999, p. 300. (Thanks to Tal Dannehurst for bringing this to our attention.) The authors are at Rheumatologische Universitatsklinik, in Basel, Switzerland.

Hard to Predict

"The Consequences of Punching Glass," A.A. Bokhari and A.N. Stirrat, Journal of Hand Surgery, vol. 22, no. 2, April 1997, pp. 202-3. (Thanks to Betty Lynn Mandred for bringing this to our attention.) The authors are at Sunderland District General Hospital, UK. They report that:

We carried out a retrospective and prospective study of 67 patients who had sustained hand injuries from punching glass over a period of 33 months. All had consumed alcohol and had argued with a partner.

Skinny Source of Sores

"Venturesome Toothpick. A Continuing Source of Pyogenic Hepatic Abscess," D.B. Bloch, Journal of the American Medical Association, vol. 252, no. 6, Aug 10, 1984, pp. 797-8. (Thanks to Miriam E. Tucker for bringing this to our attention.)

Didn't See It Coming

"Finger in His Eye," M. O'Keefe and P. Levick, Ophthalmic Surgery, vol. 17, no. 3, March 1986, pp. 179-80. (Thanks to Elizabeth O. Park for bringing this to our attention.)

Speed Trap

"Runaway Pacemaker Caused by a Stuck Accelerometer," Y. Nakazato, et al., Pacing and Clinical Electrophysiology, vol. 22, no. 3, March 1999, pp. 538-9. The authors are at the Juntendo University School of Medicine, Tokyo.

This Thing They Call Love

"Alteration of the Platelet Serotonin Transporter in Romantic Love," D. Marazziti, H.S. Akiskal, A. Rossi, and G.B. Cassano, Psychological Medicine, vol. 29, no. 3, May 1999, pp. 741-5. (Thanks to Kathryn Brown and Benton Heath for bringing this to our attention.) The authors, who are at the University of Pisa, report that:

The main finding of the present study is that subjects who were in the early romantic phase of a love relationship were not different from OCD [obsessive-compulsive disorder] patients in terms of the density of the platelet [serotonin] 5-HT transporter, which proved to be significantly lower than in the normal controls.

Four Subtle Clues

"Unexplained Severe Pruritus With 'Smelly Feet' Body Odour and Copious Vomiting," S.N. Sullivan, The Lancet, vol. 2, no. 8347, August 1983, pp. 464-5.

We welcome your suggestions for this column. Please enclose the full citation (no abbreviations!) and a photocopy of the paper.

This HotAIR feature first appeared in AIR Volume 6, Issue 4. For a complete list of features, see What's New.