Doctors find air pocket hidden in man's brain

A CT scan of the man's head revealed a large air cavity compressing his right frontal lobe. The condition is known as pneumocephalus.

Story highlights

  • Treatment for pneumocephalus depends on may factors, including symptoms
  • Condition commonly compresses the frontal lobe, can affect voluntary muscle movement

(CNN)Doctors treating a patient who had complained of repeatedly losing his balance made an unexpected discovery: The 84-year-old man had a 3½-inch pocket of air in his brain.

The man had been referred to the emergency room by his primary physician in Northern Ireland.
    He told his doctor about weeks of recurrent falls and three days of left-side arm and leg weakness, according to the report, published in the journal BMJ Case Reports. The patient, who is not identified in the report, did not have any visual or speech impairments and did not seem confused or have facial weakness, according to the authors.
    An MRI shows the air-filled cavity in the patient's brain.