Neurocritical Care

, Volume 2, Issue 1, pp 49–50 | Cite as

Cerebral air embolism secondary to intra-aortic balloon pump rupture

  • Salvador Cruz-FloresEmail author
  • Alan L. Diamond
  • Enrique C. Leira
Practical Pearl


Introduction: Cerebral air embolism is a neurological emergency. It has been reported following cardiac catheterization, central venous catheter insertion, and cardiothoracic surgery.

Methods and Results: We report a case of massive cerebral air embolism secondary to intra-aortic balloon pump (IABP) rupture. Computed tomography (CT) of the brain showed serpiginous hypodensities following the sulci associated with hypodense brain parenchymal lesions.

Conclusion: The prompt recognition of cerebral air embolism secondary to IABP rupture requires a high level of suspicion and is confirmed by head CT.

Key Words

Air embolism cerebral air embolism balloon rupture intra-aortic balloon rupture 


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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Salvador Cruz-Flores
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Alan L. Diamond
    • 1
  • Enrique C. Leira
    • 1
  1. 1.Souers Stroke Institute, Department of NeurologySt. Louis University School of MedicineSt. Louis
  2. 2.Neurology ServiceJohn Cochran Veterans Administration HospitalSt. Louis

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