Rinsho Shinkeigaku (Clinical Neurology)

Case Report

A case of cerebral fat embolism after artificial bone replacement operation for femoral head fracture

Satoru Kontani, M.D.1), Akinobu Nakamura, M.D.1), Hiroshi Tokumi, M.D.2) and Genjirou Hirose, M.D.1)

1)Department of Neurology, Asanogawa General Hospital
2)Department of Orthopedics, Asanogawa General Hospital

A 83 years old woman was slipped and injured with right femoral neck fracture. After three days from the fracture, she underwent an artificial head bone replacement operation. Immediately after surgery, she complained of chest discomfort, nausea and dyspnea. A few hours later, she became comatose. Brain CT showed no abnormality and clinical diagnosis of heart failure was made without pulmonary embolism on enhanced chest CT. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain next day showed multiple small patchy hyperintense lesion in bilateral hemispheres on diffusionweighted images (DWI), producing a "star field pattern". Based on Criteria of Gurd, this patient had one major criterion and four minor criteria. And according to the Criteria of Schonfeld, this patient had 5 points, consistent with clinical diagnosis of fat embolism. Because of these criteria, she was diagnosed as cerebral fat embolism syndrome. We started supported care and edaravon. Two weeks after surgery, her condition recovered and remaind to stuporous state even six month after surgery. We experienced a typical case of cerebral fat embolism, after bone surgery with diagnostic findings on MRI-DWI. Diagnosis of cerebral fat embolism syndrome requires a history of long bone fracture and/or replacing surgery with typical finding on MRI images, such as "star field pattern".
Full Text of this Article in Japanese PDF (3638K)

(CLINICA NEUROL, 54: 648|652, 2014)
key words: cerebral fat embolism, femoral head fracture, star field pattern

(Received: 20-Jan-14)