Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Neurologist. 2010 Mar;16(2):136-7. doi: 10.1097/NRL.0b013e3181cf8695.

A 62-year-old woman with cerebral artery air embolism during commercial air travel.

Author information

1
Department of Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA 02114, USA. johnnysalameh@hotmail.com

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Air embolism to the cerebral artery circulation is a rare complication previously associated with surgery, scuba-diving, induced abortion, angiography, and pneumothorax. However, air embolism secondary to a ruptured air bulla during commercial air travel has rarely been reported.

METHODS:

We report a patient who became unconsciousness 30 minutes after her plane took off.

RESULTS:

The patient was found to have an acute brain infarct in a watershed distribution secondary to multiple, bilateral, intraparenchymal air bubbles. Further investigation revealed a large lung bulla with an air-fluid level.

CONCLUSION:

Air embolism was due to rupture of the lung bulla into the pulmonary venous outflow. Whether the rupture was spontaneous or due to a stretch injury from a change of air pressure resulting in pulmonary barotrauma occurring during commercial air travel is uncertain.

PMID:
20220454
DOI:
10.1097/NRL.0b013e3181cf8695
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wolters Kluwer
Loading ...
Support Center