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CT Findings of the Massive Air Embolism in a Case with Thoracic Gunshot Wound: A Special Case Report as if a Whole Body Pneumo- Angiography was Performed

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Background: Massive Systemic Arterial Air Embolism (SAAE) associated with penetrating trauma is a rare condition. A few cases were reported for massive arterial air embolism in the literature. Computed tomography is a fast and easily accessible modality for detecting air in the vasculature. We report CT findings of a rare case with a thoracic gunshot wound, which demonstrate air almost in all systemic vessels like ‘‘full body pneumoangiography’’.

Case Presentation: A 42-year-old male patient with a thoracic gunshot wound was admitted to the Accident and Emergency (A) unit in a state of cardiac arrest. Postmortem Computed Tomography (CT) was performed and extensive air was revealed in several great vessels.

Conclusion: We conclude that the underline causes of massive air embolism in our case are two main mechanisms: firstly, massive air enters the vasculature via bronchovascular fistula as there was bilateral lung contusion and directly through cardiac truncus, secondly while CPR was being conducted, massive air was pumped to the systemic circulation.

Keywords: Systemic arterial air embolism; cardiac arrest; cardiopulmonary resuscitation; chest trauma with gunshot wound; hemopneumotorax; lung contusion

Document Type: Case Report

Publication date: September 1, 2022

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  • Current Medical Imaging Reviews publishes frontier reviews on all the latest advances on medical imaging. All relevant areas are covered by the journal, including advances in the diagnosis, instrumentation and therapeutic applications related to all modern medical imaging techniques.

    The journal's aim is to publish the highest quality review articles dedicated to research in the field. The journal is essential reading for all clinicians and researchers involved in medical imaging and diagnosis.
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