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Paradoxical Air Embolism to Left Anterior Descending Artery During Induction of Anesthesia in a Patient with an Atrial Septal Defect

Kumar, Dinesh US, DM, PDCC*; Gadhinglajkar, Shrinivas Vitthal MD, PDCC*; Moorthy, Krishna DM; Bhandari, Dhiraj MD, PDCC*

doi: 10.1213/XAA.0000000000000007
Case Reports: Case Report

Systemic air embolism is a complication after IV injection of air bubbles adhering to IV tubing, 3-way injection ports, and residual air in drug-filled syringes. Paradoxical air embolism across an intracardiac septal defect is a well-known complication, but paradoxical air embolism to the left coronary artery is a rare condition. We report the case of a 50-year-old woman scheduled for elective device closure of an atrial septal defect in whom coronary air embolism to the left anterior descending artery occurred after anesthetic induction.

From the Departments of *Cardiac Thoracic & Vascular Anesthesia, and Cardiology, Sri Chitra Tirunal Institute of Medical Science & Technology, Trivandrum, Kerala, India.

Accepted for publication October 2, 2013.

Funding: None.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

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Address correspondence to Dinesh Kumar, US, DM, PDCC, Department of cardiac thoracic & vascular anesthesia, Sri Chitra Tirunal Institute of Medical science & Technology, Trivandrum, Kerala-695011, India. Address e-mail to

© 2014 International Anesthesia Research Society
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