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Massive cement pulmonary embolism during percutaneous vertebroplasty
  1. María Elena Arnáiz-García,
  2. María José Dalmau-Sorlí,
  3. Jose María González-Santos
  1. Cardiac Surgery Department, University Hospital of Salamanca, Salamanca, Spain
  1. Correspondence to Dr María Elena Arnáiz-García, Cardiac Surgery Department, University Hospital of Salamanca, Paseo de San Vicente 58-182, Salamanca 37007, Spain; elearnaiz{at}

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A 71-year-old woman was admitted to hospital after a car crash and diagnosed with L1 vertebral body fracture. A percutaneous transpedicular lumbar fixation using polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) cement was decided. During the procedure, a massive PMMA cement leakage into the paravertebral venous system was observed. Hypotension, acute respiratory distress and refractory hypoxaemia were rapidly manifested. A cement pulmonary embolism was suspected and an unenhanced CT performed. A large collection of PMMA fragments were distinguished in the right pulmonary artery (RPA) and lobar branches (figure …

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  • Contributors All authors have participated on writing, designing of manuscript, analysis, photo editing and critical review. All authors have participated in the work and have reviewed and agreed with the content of the article.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.