Cerebral Air Embolism After Gastrointestinal Procedure: A Case Report and Literature Review

Iyad Farouji, Kok Hoe Chan, Hossam Abed, Theodore DaCosta, Baris Vefali, Ormena Joseph, Jihad Slim, Theodore DaCosta, Addi Suleiman


Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) is one of the forefronts of minimally invasive modalities with excellent safety records and tremendous capability but despite its accolades and functions, there are still very rare complications including air embolism. It is a life-threatening condition that could lead to a significant increase in morbidity and mortality. However, there are limited data for incidence of air embolism in association with gastrointestinal endoscopy. Diagnosis of air embolism after or during gastrointestinal endoscopy might be a difficult task due to overlapping presentations with anesthesia effects on the cardiopulmonary and the neurological systems, as a result, there should be increased awareness allowing clinicians to quickly rule out air embolism in patient with altered mental status or cardiopulmonary changes after or during gastrointestinal endoscopy. Herein, we report a unique case of cerebral air embolism after EGD in a 79-year-old female patient. In addition, we also performed a systematic review of cases based on PRISMA guideline, with the aim to investigate the demographics and clinical outcomes associated with this complication. This systematic review of cases hopes to increase the awareness about this rare entity.

J Med Cases. 2021;12(3):119-125
doi: https://doi.org/10.14740/jmc3639


Cerebral air embolism; Gas embolism; Endoscopy; Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography; Literature review

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