Journal of Emergencies, Trauma, and Shock
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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 272-273

Pulmonary cement embolism after pedicle screw vertebral stabilization

Department of Radiology, "Luigi Sacco" University Hospital, Via G. B. Grassi 74, 20157 Milan, Italy

Correspondence Address:
Massimo Tonolini
Department of Radiology, "Luigi Sacco" University Hospital, Via G. B. Grassi 74, 20157 Milan
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0974-2700.99710

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Pulmonary arterial embolization of polymethylmethacrylate cement, most usually occurring after vertebroplasty or kyphoplasty, is very uncommon following vertebral stabilization procedures. Unenhanced CT scans viewed at lung window settings allow confident identification of cement emboli in the pulmonary circulation along with possible associate parenchymal changes, whereas hyperdense emboli may be less conspicuous on CT-angiographic studies with high-flow contrast medium injection. Although clinical manifestations are largely variable from asymptomatic cases to severe respiratory distress, most cases are treated with anticoagulation.

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