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Radiation Medicine

, Volume 26, Issue 6, pp 379–383 | Cite as

Cerebral air embolism treated with hyperbaric oxygen therapy following percutaneous transthoracic computed tomography-guided needle biopsy of the lung

  • Makiko Tomabechi
  • Kenichi Kato
  • Miyuki Sone
  • Shigeru Ehara
  • Kenshi Sekimura
  • Tetsuya Kizawa
  • Masakado Kin
Case Report

Abstract

A 71-year-old man presented with cough and sputum for 12 months. Chest radiography showed a homogeneous opacity in the right lower lobe. Computed tomography (CT) showed a nodular opacity, 2 cm in diameter, in the posterior segment of the right lower lobe. Mild emphysematous changes were also seen. With the patient in a prone position, a 19-gauge 7.8-cm introducer was placed in the lesion during a single inspiratory breath-hold. A coaxial 20-gauge automated needle was inserted through the introducer using a biopsy gun. Although the patient did not complain of any symptoms, postbiopsy CT showed air in the left ventricle and ascending aorta. After 5 h of bed rest, we found weakness in his left lower extremity. He was transferred to a hyperbaric oxygen chamber and recovered the next day. Air embolism is a rare, potentially fatal complication of percutaneous lung biopsy. Although the true effect of hyperbaric oxygen therapy is controversial, knowledge regarding the prompt management of such cases may help radiologists who perform this procedure.

Key words

Air embolism CT-guided needle biopsy Lung 

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Copyright information

© Japan Radiological Society 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Makiko Tomabechi
    • 1
  • Kenichi Kato
    • 1
  • Miyuki Sone
    • 1
  • Shigeru Ehara
    • 1
  • Kenshi Sekimura
    • 2
  • Tetsuya Kizawa
    • 2
  • Masakado Kin
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of RadiologyIwate Medical University School of MedicineMoriokaJapan
  2. 2.Department of Medicine IIIIwate Medical University School of MedicineMoriokaJapan
  3. 3.Department of NeurologyIwate Medical University School of MedicineMoriokaJapan

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