A 62-year-old woman was struck by lightning while on a mountain and fortunately did not suffer burns or unconsciousness. She stayed at a mountain lodge overnight and was taken to our hospital by helicopter the next day. Upon admission, electrocardiography showed ST segment elevation indicating acute lateral myocardial infarction, and echocardiography showed takotsubo-shaped hypokinesis of the left ventricle indicating an apical aneurysm. Her serum escaped enzyme levels were increased, as is typical in cases of myocardial infarction, however, she did not complain of cardiac symptoms. Coronary arteriography performed 4 days after admission showed a normal coronary artery while left ventriculography showed apical akinesia. An echocardiogram obtained 2 days later showed resolution of the LV wall motion abnormality. This is the first reported case of takotsubo cardiomyopathy caused by lightning. Takotsubo-shaped hypokinesis is not described as a complication of lightning-induced cardiac injury and its pathogenesis remains controversial.
2005 by the International Heart Journal Association