A Case of Fatal Cerebral Air Embolism After Blunt Lung Trauma: Postmortem Computed Tomography and Autopsy Findings

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Abstract

Cerebral air embolism is caused by gas bubbles in the vascular system. These bubbles can cause cerebral ischemia by obstructing encephalic blood vessels. It is frequently associated with blunt and penetrating chest trauma as well as iatrogenic interventions. Lung trauma involving laceration of the respiratory tract, lung parenchyma, and blood vessels may result in direct communication of these structures, driving air or gas into the pulmonary venous system. We report a case of a blunt chest trauma that led to massive arterial air embolism that was possible to recognize with the help of postmortem computed tomographic scan examination.

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