, Volume 11, Issue 2, pp 247-250
Date: 17 Mar 2009

Intra-arterial Air Thrombogenesis after Cerebral Air Embolism Complicating Lower Extremity Sclerotherapy

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Cerebral arterial gas embolism is a potentially life-threatening event. Intraarterial air can occlude blood flow directly or cause thrombosis. Sclerotherapy is an extremely rare cause of cerebral arterial gas embolism.




A 38-year-old female suffered acute onset of a left middle cerebral artery (LMCA) syndrome with an NIH stroke score of 11 approximately 10 min after lower extremity sclerotherapy. CT angiogram demonstrated LMCA intraarterial air. Patient fully recovered after hyperbaric oxygen treatment with complete resolution of intraarterial air. However, thrombus replaced intraarterial air despite anticoagulation with heparin.


We provide radiological evidence of hyperbaric oxygen therapy resolving intraarterial air but also demonstrate the thrombogenic potential of this procedural complication.