Document Detail

A 62-year-old woman with cerebral artery air embolism during commercial air travel.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  20220454     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
OBJECTIVE: Air embolism to the cerebral artery circulation is a rare complication previously associated with surgery, scuba-diving, induced abortion, angiography, and pneumothorax. However, air embolism secondary to a ruptured air bulla during commercial air travel has rarely been reported.
METHODS: We report a patient who became unconsciousness 30 minutes after her plane took off.
RESULTS: The patient was found to have an acute brain infarct in a watershed distribution secondary to multiple, bilateral, intraparenchymal air bubbles. Further investigation revealed a large lung bulla with an air-fluid level.
CONCLUSION: Air embolism was due to rupture of the lung bulla into the pulmonary venous outflow. Whether the rupture was spontaneous or due to a stretch injury from a change of air pressure resulting in pulmonary barotrauma occurring during commercial air travel is uncertain.
Johnny Salameh
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Case Reports; Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The neurologist     Volume:  16     ISSN:  2331-2637     ISO Abbreviation:  Neurologist     Publication Date:  2010 Mar 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-03-11     Completed Date:  2010-06-14     Revised Date:  2014-11-05    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9503763     Medline TA:  Neurologist     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  136-7     Citation Subset:  IM    
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MeSH Terms
Acute Disease
Brain Infarction / etiology*,  pathology,  therapy
Cerebral Arterial Diseases / etiology*,  pathology,  therapy
Embolism, Air / etiology*,  pathology,  therapy
Fatal Outcome
Lung Diseases / complications,  radiography,  therapy
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Middle Aged
Time Factors
Tomography, X-Ray Computed

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