Fat Embolism Syndrome: Case Report

Sreenivasa Rao Sudulagunta, Monica Kumbhat, Mahesh Babu Sodalagunta, Aravinda Settikere Nataraju, Mona Sepehrar, Shiva Kumar Bangalore Raja

Abstract


Fat embolism syndrome (FES) is a systemic inflammatory cascade affecting multiple organ systems occurring after trauma, orthopedic procedures and rarely in non-traumatic patients causing high morbidity and mortality. Fat emboli develop in many patients with bone fractures (incidence of this problem can be up to 90% in patients who have sustained major injuries), but are usually asymptomatic. A minority of patients develop signs and symptoms of organ system dysfunction due to mechanical obstruction of capillaries by fat emboli or due to fat hydrolyzing to fatty acids. A triad of lung, brain and skin involvement develops after 24 - 72 hours of asymptomatic period. This symptom complex is known as FES. Fat embolism is diagnosed clinically with non-specific and insensitive diagnostic tests. Treatment of FES is supportive and in most cases can be prevented by early fixation of large bone fractures. Here we report a case of traumatic fat embolism, treated successfully with supportive management. Diagnosis of FES needs high index of suspicion and use of clinical criteria along with imaging.




J Neurol Res. 2016;6(5-6):114-117
doi: https://doi.org/10.14740/jnr405w

Keywords


Fat embolism syndrome; Magnetic resonance imaging; Trauma; Femur fracture; ARDS

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