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J Pathol. 1995 May;176(1):3-9.

The pathogenesis of fat embolism.

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Department of Histopathology, King's Mill Centre for Health Care Services (NHS Trust), Sutton-in-Ashfield, Notts, U.K.


Fat embolism is a common autopsy finding in patients with or without a history of trauma. There are two basic mechanisms causing fat to embolize. Depot-derived fat embolism arises by disruption of depot fat, usually as a result of trauma, allowing direct entry into the bloodstream. Plasma-derived fat embolism is caused by agglutination of endogenous or infused exogenous fat such as Intralipid, with consequent embolism. Chylomicrons and Intralipid liposomes are known to undergo calcium-dependent agglutination by C-reactive protein (CRP), and this may play a role in vivo in this type of fat embolism.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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