Document Detail

Sewing needles in the brain: infanticide attempts or accidental insertion?
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  20802362     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
BACKGROUND: Placing of sewing needles in the brain through the anterior fontanelle was first described in Germany in 1914. Forty cases have been reported in the scientific literature; most of them were identified in Turkey and Iran, with only a few cases in the Far East, North and Eastern Europe, and the United States. The only case observed in Italy was recorded in 1987. In nonmedical literature, this practice was frequently described in Persian novels, and it has been thought that this ritual could have been diffused with the Persian Empire domination over the centuries.
OBJECTIVE: We report on a new Italian case of an 82-year-old woman admitted for progressive right hemiparesis and gait disturbance.
METHODS: Brain computed tomography scan showed a left frontoparietal chronic subdural haematoma and, surprisingly, three 4-cm-long sewing needles inserted through the region of the anterior fontanelle. The patient and her friends and family did not remember any event justifying their presence.
RESULTS: Subdural collection was evacuated by craniotomic approach, and the sewing needles were left in place and followed up.
CONCLUSION: The rare cases of intracranial needling reported in the literature may represent only the tip of the iceberg. The phenomenon is usually reported as an incidental finding in asymptomatic adults, whereas many babies could not have been diagnosed because they died. The therapy remains controversial, although many authors suggest only follow-up for asymptomatic patients. In this article, all the pertinent literature is reviewed and the most important clinical aspects are discussed, along with a historical assessment of the problem.
Carmelo Lucio Sturiale; Luca Massimi; Annunziato Mangiola; Angelo Pompucci; Romeo Roselli; Carmelo Anile
Publication Detail:
Type:  Case Reports; Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Neurosurgery     Volume:  67     ISSN:  1524-4040     ISO Abbreviation:  Neurosurgery     Publication Date:  2010 Oct 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-10-04     Completed Date:  2011-01-19     Revised Date:  2013-02-18    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7802914     Medline TA:  Neurosurgery     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  E1170-9; discussion E1179     Citation Subset:  IM    
Institute of Neurosurgery, Catholic University School of Medicine, Rome, Italy.
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MeSH Terms
Aged, 80 and over
Disease Progression
Foreign Bodies / diagnosis*,  etiology*,  surgery
Incidental Findings*
Needles / adverse effects*
Neurologic Examination
Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods
Comment In:
Neurosurgery. 2013 Jan;72(1):E144   [PMID:  23037827 ]
Neurosurgery. 2013 Jan;72(1):E143-4   [PMID:  23096410 ]

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