Cerebral air embolism

Case contributed by Brendon Friesen


Emergency department presentation. Seizure, GCS 4. No history of trauma. No known recent intervention or surgery. Known lung tumor - histology unknown (resected elsewhere).

Patient Data

Age: 40 years
Gender: Male

Multiple intra-axial air bubbles, predominantly right cerebral hemisphere.

Chest radiographs taken 2 years earlier


Huge right lung mass.

Preoperative MRI


Pre-operative MRI demonstrates large heterogeneously enhancing mass in the right lung.

Current chest X ray


Radiograph at current presentation: patient intubated. Right perihilar surgical clips. Interval resection of tumor (done elsewhere, so no details available).

Case Discussion

Cerebral air embolism, presumably related to pulmonary pathology (large right-sided lung mass resected sometime in the past 2 years, histology unknown).

The patient was transferred to the treating hospital for hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

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