Tuberous sclerosis in a military pilot

Ori Wand, Shany Blum, Eyal Shachar, Bela Azaria, Ronen Levite, Amit Assa, Erez Barenboim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Tuberous sclerosis (TS) is a multisystem disorder characterized by hamartomas in various organs. It usually manifests itself during infancy or childhood with neurological features, including mental retardation and seizures. We present the case of a military pilot who was diagnosed with TS at 22 yr of age after he had completed flight training. Suspicion of TS arose from evaluation of a chronic rash around the pilot's nose, and diagnosis was confirmed based on the presence of multiple calcified nodules on CT imaging of the brain. No neurological abnormalities were found. The primary aeromedical concerns were the risk of seizures or development of tumors at sites that might lead to sudden incapacitation. Hamartomas can be reliably detected at an early stage by means of annual history, physical examination, and imaging of tumor-prone organs. After review of the literature and consultation with medical specialists, we assessed the risk of adult-onset seizures in a TS patient without preexisting neurological findings as scarce. The pilot was therefore granted a waiver limited to flying a two-pilot helicopter with a program of tight medical follow-up.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)657-659
Number of pages3
JournalAviation Space and Environmental Medicine
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Aviation
  • Incapacitation
  • Seizure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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