Heart 91:e36 doi:10.1136/hrt.2005.060129
  • Electronic pages

Coronary air embolism treated with aspiration catheter

  1. M S Patterson,
  2. F Kiemeneij
  1. Amsterdam Department of Interventional Cardiology, Onze Lieve Vrouwe Gasthuis, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr Mark S Patterson
    Amsterdam Department of Interventional Cardiology, OLVG, 1e Oosterparkstraat 279, 1090 HM, Amsterdam, Netherlands;
  • Accepted 25 January 2005


Coronary air embolism remains a recognised complication of coronary catheterisation despite a strong emphasis on prevention. Current treatment consists of supportive measures with 100% oxygen and analgesia. Recent case reports describe the use of mechanical treatments aimed at dispersing or removing the air embolus with variable success. A case of coronary air embolism causing an acute coronary syndrome is described that was definitively treated with an aspiration system. The effectiveness of the aspiration system in the distal section of an obtuse marginal artery indicates that such dedicated aspiration systems may prove useful in the standard treatment of air embolism.


  • The authors have no financial or competing interests.