[Fat embolism syndrome following injuries and limb fractures].

Gershon Volpin, Albert Gorski, Haim Shtarker, Nicola Makhoul

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Fat embolism syndrome is a clinical entity characterized by varying degrees of cerebral dysfunction, pulmonary changes and petechial rash that usually develop within 24-48 hours in a small percentage of victims after trauma and Long bone fractures. Deterioration can occur within a few hours Leading to unconsciousness or acute respiratory insufficiency, similar to adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). The pathophysiology is still not clearly understood and there are two theories--the mechanical and biochemical cascade of events. It seems that the most significant diagnostic sign is hypoxemia with relatively normaL values of PaCO2 leading to development of radiographic "snow-like appearance" of the Lungs, resulting from the typical interstitial lung edema. Treatment consists of early fracture fixation, volume replacement, respiratory support and analgesia carefully managed since some of the patients may develop acute respiratory distress. The role of steroids and other drugs is still under debate. The vast majority of patients may heal without any complications, while 5%-10% of the patients may develop some neurological complications manifesting as behavior disturbances. The aim of this review is to update the clinical and pathophysiological aspects of fat embolism syndrome and to describe the various aspects of prevention and treatment.

Original languageHebrew
Pages (from-to)304-308, 335
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2010


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