Diffuse electrical injury: comparison of physical and neuropsychological symptom presentation in males and females

J Psychosom Res. 2005 Jan;58(1):51-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychores.2004.06.001.


Objective: Electrical injuries can produce physical, neurological, and neuropsychological sequelae that exist even in the total absence of a theoretical current path that includes the brain. Diffuse electrical injury (DEI) is a rarely occurring class of electrical injury (EI) that can occur even after low-voltage contact. The objective of the study was to compare the occurrence rate of symptoms reported retrospectively by a female DEI group with a male DEI group.

Methods: A Web-based interactive survey was completed by survivors of low-voltage injuries (<1000 V) regarding symptoms present six months or more following electrical shock. Chi square analysis of the occurrence of 65 symptoms was performed.

Results: The only significant differences were that unexplained moodiness, dizziness, and short-term memory loss were reported more often by the male group, and the diagnosis of chronic pain was more common in the female group. For the majority of symptoms, no significant difference between the two groups was revealed.

Conclusions: Results suggest that DEI may present with certain differences in men compared with women. The results also confirm previous reports that patients may present with broad symptomatology after low-voltage contact.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Chronic Disease
  • Cognition Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Cognition Disorders / epidemiology
  • Cognition Disorders / etiology*
  • Electric Injuries* / complications
  • Electric Injuries* / physiopathology
  • Electric Injuries* / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Pain / diagnosis*
  • Pain / etiology*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sex Distribution