Journal Article

Air embolism: diagnosis with single‐photon emission tomography and successful hyperbaric oxygen therapy

L. Droghetti, M. Giganti, A. Memmo and R. Zatelli

in BJA: British Journal of Anaesthesia

Published on behalf of the British Journal of Anaesthesia

Volume 89, issue 5, pages 775-778
Published in print November 2002 | ISSN: 0007-0912
Published online November 2002 | e-ISSN: 1471-6771 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bja/89.5.775
Air embolism: diagnosis with single‐photon emission tomography and successful hyperbaric oxygen therapy

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Venous air embolism may occur when the surgical field is above the level of the heart. We present a case of venous air embolism in a patient undergoing percutaneous nephrolithotripsy in the prone position and presenting with blindness and neurological deficits 8 h later. The clinical diagnosis of paradoxical air embolism was confirmed by early single‐photon emission tomography (SPET), whereas magnetic resonance imaging including diffusion‐weighted imaging (DW‐MRI) was diagnostic only 30 h later. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy was successful. In this case, early DW‐MRI scan was inconclusive, but a SPET study of the brain appeared to be useful in confirming the clinical diagnosis. Early hyperbaric oxygen was demonstrated to be a successful therapy.

Br J Anaesth 2002; 89: 775–8

Keywords: Keywords: anaesthesia, urology; complications, air embolism; therapy, hyperbaric oxygen

Journal Article.  2132 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Anaesthetics

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