Indian Journal of Ophthalmology

: 2016  |  Volume : 64  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 151--152

Lightning injury of posterior segment of the eye

Ekta Rishi, VP Indu, Pukhraj Rishi 
 Shri Bhagwan Mahavir Vitreoretinal Services, Sankara Nethralya, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Ekta Rishi
Shri Bhagwan Mahavir Vitreoretinal Services, Sankara Nethralaya, 18 College Road, Chennai - 600 006, Tamil Nadu


How to cite this article:
Rishi E, Indu V P, Rishi P. Lightning injury of posterior segment of the eye.Indian J Ophthalmol 2016;64:151-152

How to cite this URL:
Rishi E, Indu V P, Rishi P. Lightning injury of posterior segment of the eye. Indian J Ophthalmol [serial online] 2016 [cited 2020 Dec 3 ];64:151-152
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Full Text

 Case Report

A 40-year-old male was struck by lightning resulting in loss of consciousness. Ten months later, he presented with complaints of metamorphopsia in the left eye. The best-corrected visual acuity was 6/6, N6 in the right eye and 6/7.5, N6 in the left eye. Anterior segment examination was normal. Fundus examination of the left eye revealed a lamellar hole at macula and a group of pigment clumps arranged in a wedge-shaped pattern in the temporal periphery of retina [Figure 1]. Fundus fluorescein angiogram of the left eye revealed retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) window defects at fovea and blocked fluorescence in the temporal periphery due to pigments, better seen on red-free photograph [Figure 2] and [Figure 3]. Spectral domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) analysis of the left eye demonstrated a lamellar hole with intraretinal cystic spaces and a defect in the inner segment/outer segment (IS-OS) junction [Figure 4]. Fundus examination and imaging studies in the right eye were normal.{Figure 1}{Figure 2}{Figure 3}{Figure 4}


Lightning-induced maculopathy is caused by the heat generated at the level of RPE due to resistance by melanin.[1] It often manifests as cystoid macular edema and macular hole.[2],[3]

SD-OCT analysis shows loss of foveal photoreceptors and IS-OS junction disruption.[4] Peripheral pigmentary changes following lightning injury as seen in our patient have also been described in the literature.[4] Visual prognosis in patients with lightning-induced ocular injury depends on the extent of irreversible retinal and macular damage. Therefore, long-term follow-up of these patients is recommended.


We would like to acknowledge photography and OCT services at Sankara Nethralya, Chennai.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.


1Lagrèze WD, Bömer TG, Aiello LP. Lightning-induced ocular injury. Arch Ophthalmol 1995;113:1076-7.
2Handa JT, Jaffe GJ. Lightning maculopathy. A case report. Retina 1994;14:169-72.
3Rao KA, Rao LG, Kamath AN, Jain V. Bilateral macular hole secondary to remote lightning strike. Indian J Ophthalmol 2009;57:470-2.
4Armstrong B, Fecarotta C, Ho AC, Baskin DE. Evolution of severe lightning maculopathy visualized with spectral domain optical coherence tomography. Ophthalmic Surg Lasers Imaging 2010;41 Suppl:S70-3.