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Neurology India
Medknow Publications on behalf of the Neurological Society of India
ISSN: 0028-3886 EISSN: 1998-4022
Vol. 52, Num. 3, 2004, pp. 407-407

Neurology India, Vol. 52, No. 3, July-September, 2004, pp. 407


Moving bullet syndrome

Department of Neurosurgery of Hospital Sao Jose, Lisbon
Correspondence Address:Rua Tristao Vaz, n.31 - 3. esquerdo 1400-350 Lisbon

Code Number: ni04145

An eighteen-year-old girl presented a left occipital gunshot wound. At admission, she was fully conscious and the neurological examination revealed a stiff neck and a right hemianopsia. CT scan demonstrated a bullet in the left occipital lobe [Figure - 1]. Conservative treatment was adopted and the patient was advised to lie in dorsal decubitus position. By the second day she began complaining of an increasing headache. On the third day, CT scan showed that the bullet had migrated backwards and was located adjacent to the inner table of the left occipital vault [Figure - 2]. A decision was taken to remove the bullet by surgery. A small left occipital craniotomy was performed and the bullet was located 1cm from the cortical surface. The postoperative course was uneventful. At follow-up after 3 months, the patient was asymptomatic.

The spontaneous migration of bullets within the brain as a consequence of gravity has been reported sporadically.[1],[2]

In the patient treated conservatively, the resting position should be dictated in order to avoid an eventual migrating bullet to eloquent regions of the brain causing additional neurological deficits.[2]


1.Milhorat TH, Elowitz EH, Johnson RW, Miller JI. Spontaneous Movement of Bullets in the Brain Case Report. Neurosurg 1993;32:142-4.  Back to cited text no. 1    
2.Liebesind AL, Anderson RD, Schechter MM. Spontaneous movement of an intracranial missile. Neuroradiol 1973;5:129-32.  Back to cited text no. 2    

Copyright 2004 - Neurology India

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[ni04145f1.jpg] [ni04145f2.jpg]
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