Indian Journal of Critical Care Medicine

Register      Login



Volume / Issue

Online First

Related articles

VOLUME 18 , ISSUE 3 ( March, 2014 ) > List of Articles


Cerebral fat embolism syndrome after long bone fracture due to gunshot injury

Latif Duran, Servet Kayhan, Celal Kati, Hizir Ufuk Akdemir, Kemal Balci, Yucel Yavuz

Keywords : Cerebral fat embolism, diffusion weighted magnetic resonance imaging, starfield pattern

Citation Information : Duran L, Kayhan S, Kati C, Akdemir HU, Balci K, Yavuz Y. Cerebral fat embolism syndrome after long bone fracture due to gunshot injury. Indian J Crit Care Med 2014; 18 (3):167-169.

DOI: 10.4103/0972-5229.128707

License: CC BY-ND 3.0

Published Online: 01-12-2014

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2014; The Author(s).


Cerebral fat embolism syndrome is a lethal complication of long-bone fractures and clinically manifasted with respiratory distress, altered mental status, and petechial rash. We presented a 20-year-old male admitted with gun-shot wounds to his left leg. Twenty-four hours after the event, he had generalized tonic clonic seizures, decorticate posture and a Glascow Coma Scale of seven with localization of painful stimuli. Subsequent magnetic resonance imaging of the brain showed a star-field pattern defining multiple lesions of restricted diffusion. On a 4-week follow-up, he had returned to normal neurological function. Despite the severity of the neurological condition upon initial presentation, the case cerebral fat embolism illustrates that, cerebral dysfunction associated with cerebral fat embolism illustrates reversible.

PDF Share
  1. Chang RN, Kim JH, Lee H, Baik HJ, Chung RK, Kim CH, et al. Cerebral fat embolism after bilateral total knee replacement arthroplasty: A case report. Korean J Anesthesiol 2010;59:S207-10.
  2. Tsai IT, Hsu CJ, Chen YH, Fong YC, Hsu HC, Tsai CH. Fat embolism syndrome in long bone fracture: Clinical experience in a tertiary referral center in Taiwan. J Chin Med Assoc 2010;73:407-10.
  3. Habashi NM, Andrews PL, Scalea TM. Therapeutic aspects of fat embolism syndrome. Injury 2006;37:S68-73.
  4. Pinney SJ, Keating JF, Meek RN. Fat embolism syndrome in isolated femoral fractures: Does timing of nailing influence incidence? Injury 1998;29:131-3.
  5. Mueller F, Pfeifer C, Kinner B, Englert C, Nerlich M, Neumann C. Post-traumatic fulminant paradoxical fat embolism syndrome in conjunction with asymptomatic atrial septal defect: A case report and review of the literature. J Med Case Rep 2011;5:142.
  6. Aravapalli A, Fox J, Lazaridis C. Cerebral fat embolism and the "starfield" pattern: A case report. Cases J 2009;2:212.
  7. Gregorakos L, Sakayianni K, Hroni D, Harizopoulou V, Markou N, Georgiadou F, et al. Prolonged coma due to cerebral fat embolism: Report of two cases. J Accid Emerg Med 2000;17:144-6.
  8. Parizel PM, Demey HE, Veeckmans G, Verstreken F, Cras P, Jorens PG, et al. Early diagnosis of cerebral fat embolism syndrome by diffusion-weighted MRI (starfield pattern). Stroke 2001;32:2942-4.
PDF Share
PDF Share

© Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers (P) LTD.