Document Detail

Cerebral and coronary gas embolism from the inhalation of pressurized helium.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  12006819     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
OBJECTIVE: Inhalation of helium, which produces a change in the voice, is frequently used among young rock singers to improve their performance. DESIGN: A case report. SETTINGS: Adult medical intensive care unit in a university hospital. PATIENT: A 23-yr-old singer, who accidentally inhaled helium from a high pressurized tank without pressure reduction, presented with transient loss of consciousness and chest pain. INTERVENTIONS: Electrocardiogram, chest radiograph, biochemical and toxicological analyses, echocardiography, coronary angiography were performed. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: At admission, the patient slowly regained consciousness. An electrocardiogram showed significant ST elevations in leads I, aVL, and V4-V6. The chest radiograph was consistent with pulmonary congestion and pneumomediastinum. The echocardiogram showed normal sized heart chambers with hypokinesis of the left ventricular lateral wall. Ethanol and urine cannabinoids were present in low concentrations, but no presence of opiates, methadone, cocaine, or amphetamines was documented. Troponin T was positive. Elevation of ST segments gradually disappeared within 30 mins, the drowsiness within 10 hrs, and the thoracic pain within 24 hrs. Coronary angiography showed normal coronary arteries. The patient was discharged on day 3 without any symptoms and with normal electrocardiogram and chest radiograph. CONCLUSION: Accidental inhalation of helium under high pressure can cause symptomatic cerebral and coronary artery gas embolism.
Martin Tretjak; Vojka Gorjup; Hugon Mozina; Matija Horvat; Marko Noc
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Case Reports; Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Critical care medicine     Volume:  30     ISSN:  0090-3493     ISO Abbreviation:  Crit. Care Med.     Publication Date:  2002 May 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2002-05-13     Completed Date:  2002-06-11     Revised Date:  2004-11-17    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0355501     Medline TA:  Crit Care Med     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1156-7     Citation Subset:  AIM; IM    
Center for Intensive Internal Medicine, University Medical Center Ljubljana, Slovenia.
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MeSH Terms
Administration, Inhalation
Cerebrovascular Disorders / chemically induced*,  diagnosis
Coronary Angiography
Coronary Disease / chemically induced*,  diagnosis
Embolism, Air / chemically induced*,  diagnosis
Helium / adverse effects*
Radiography, Thoracic
Reg. No./Substance:

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