Venous fat embolus on trauma CT

Case contributed by Dr Jeremy Lim

Presentation

Motor bike accident.

Patient Data

Age: 20 years
Gender: Male

Left Knee X-Ray

X-ray

Lipohemarthrosis. Proximal fibular avulsion fracture.

Fat embolus in the left common femoral and external iliac veins. L1 and L2 fractures (not well seen). 

Case Discussion

Large fat embolus from a lower limb fracture, on chest imaging there was no pulmonary complications. Fat emboli occur in almost every patient with a long-bone fracture but only a few (range 1-29%) become symptomatic, and this is known as fat embolism syndrome

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