Cerebral air embolism

Case contributed by Dr Brendon Friesen


Emergency department presentation. Seizure, reduced GCS (4). No history of trauma. No known recent intervention or surgery. Known lung tumour - histology unknown (resected at St Elsewhere).

Patient Data

Age: 40
Gender: Male

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


Current radiograph (3rd image): post surgical changes in right hemithorax (interval resection of massive right intrathoracic mass since prior radiographs of two years previous). Resection performed at St Elsewhere and further details were not available.


Pre-operative MRI demonstrates large heterogeneous enhancing mass.

Case Discussion

Cerebral air embolism, presumably related to pulmonary pathology (large right sided intrathoracic mass resected sometime in past 2 years at St Elsewhere, histology unknown).

The patient was transferred to St Elsewhere for hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

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Case information

rID: 32523
Published: 30th Nov 2014
Last edited: 7th Oct 2015
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

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